Becky G, Leona Lewis, Luke Bryan, More Confirmed For Kennedy Center Honors Ceremony

CBS will air the event, which taped this weekend, on Tuesday, December 26.

Kennedy Honors recipients | Courtesy of John P Filo/CBS

News recently broke that LL Cool J, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Carmen de Lavallade, and Norman Lear will be the focal points of this year’s Kennedy Center Honors ceremony.

The event taped this Sunday, and CBS has disclosed details on the various entertainment notables that delivered tribute performances or speeches at the event.

The list includes names like Becky G, Eva Longoria, Luke Bryan, Busta Rhymes, Leona Lewis, Nicole Richie, Rachel Bloom and Dave Chappelle.

CBS’ broadcast of the event will air at 9PM ET/PT on December 26. The tribute lineup follows:


Caroline Kennedy

Daughter of former President John F. Kennedy. Author, attorney and diplomat who served as the United States Ambassador to Japan from 2013-2017


Gloria Estefan

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman



Eva Longoria (Spoken Tribute)

Actress, producer, director, activist and businesswoman

The Cast of “On Your Feet! The Musical” (Performs “1, 2, 3”)

Broadway musical based on the life and music of Gloria and Emilio Estefan

Chaka Khan (Performs “Coming Out of the Dark” with the Howard University Gospel Choir)

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist

Jon Secada (Spoken Tribute)

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning singer and songwriter

Becky G (Performs “Mi Tierra”)

Singer, songwriter, rapper, actress and model

Emily Estefan (Performs “Reach”)

Daughter of Gloria and Emilio Estefan; drummer, guitarist, singer and songwriter

Miami Sound Machine (Performs “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”/“Oye”/ “Conga”/“Turn the Beat Around”/“Everlasting Love”/“Get on Your Feet”)

Latin-influenced band established by Emilio Estefan Jr. featuring the vocals of Gloria Estefan


Norman Lear

Multiple Emmy Award and Peabody Award-winning television writer, producer and political activist



J.J. Abrams (Spoken Tribute)

Multiple Emmy Award-winning director, producer, screenwriter, actor and composer

United States Airforce Singing Sergeants (Performs “America, the Beautiful”)

Dave Chappelle (Spoken Tribute)

Emmy Award-winning comedian, actor, writer and producer

Rob Reiner (Performance Tribute from “All in the Family”)

Multiple Emmy Award-winning actor, writer, director, producer and activist

Rachel Bloom (Performance Tribute from “Maude”)

Actress, comedian, writer and producer, currently starring in the television series CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND

Kenya Barris (Performance Tribute from “Good Times”)

Writer, producer and creator of numerous television shows and winner of the NAACP Image Award for “Black-ish”

Anthony Anderson (Performance Tribute from “The Jeffersons”)

Actor, comedian and writer; star and creator of the television comedy “Black-ish”

Rita Moreno (Performance Tribute from “One Day at a Time”)

Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Emmy Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning actress and singer; 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree



Rapper, actor, author and entrepreneur



Queen Latifah (Spoken Tribute)

GRAMMY Award, Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner, rapper, songwriter, singer, actress, model, television and record producer

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Spoken Tribute)

GRAMMY Award-winning instrumentalist, DJ and producer; co-founder of the band The Roots

DJ Z-Trip (Performance Tribute)

DJ and record producer

Busta Rhymes (Performs “Mama Said Knock You Out”)

Rapper, actor and record producer

MC Lyte (Performs “I’m Bad”)

Pioneering female rapper

Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (Performs “It Gets No Rougher”)

Rapper, lead MC and co-founder of the band The Roots

Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels (Performs “Rock the Bells”)

Musician; founding member of the hip hop group Run-D.M.C.


Carmen de Lavallade

Actress, dancer and choreographer



Meryl Streep (Spoken Tribute)

Multiple Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award-winning actress and philanthropist

Jon Batiste (Performs “Soul Bossa Nova” with dancers Stella Abrera and Brandon Victor Dixon)

Singer, multi-instrumentalist, educator, comedian and bandleader for THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT

Sheléa Frazier (Performs “Wade in the Water” with dancers Alicia Graf Mack, Linda Celeste Sims and Matthew Rushing)

Singer and songwriter

Jacqueline Bolier (Performs “Deux Bourées: N’aï Pas léu De MîO” with dancer Lindsey Croop)


Misty Copeland (Spoken Tribute)

Ballet dancer for the American Ballet Theater

Rebecca Luker

(Performs “Bill” with dancers Misty Copeland and Tony nominee Robert Fairchild)

Tony Award-winning Broadway actress and singer

Finale Tribute Performance (Performance of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” featuring all of the Carmen de Lavallade tribute participants and the Howard University Gospel Choir)


Lionel Richie

Multiple GRAMMY Award, Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and record producer



Stevie Wonder (Performs “Hello” and “Easy”)

Multiple GRAMMY Award and Golden Globe Award-winning musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist; 1999 Kennedy Center Honoree and recipient of the 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom

Kenny Rogers (Spoken Tribute)

GRAMMY Award-winning singer, songwriter, actor and record producer

Luke Bryan (Performs “Penny Lover” and “Sail On”)

Country singer and songwriter

Quincy Jones (Spoken Tribute)

Multiple GRAMMY Award-winning record producer, actor, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist and humanitarian

Nicole Richie (Spoken Tribute)

Fashion designer, author, actress and television personality; daughter of Lionel Richie

Leona Lewis

(Performs “Say You Say Me” and “All Night Long”)

Singer and songwriter

Finale Tribute Performance (Reprise Performance of

“All Night Long,” featuring all of the Lionel Richie tribute participants)

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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