Team behind Hamilton receives a one-of-a-kind award

The Kennedy Center hosted its 41st annual Kennedy Center Honors Gala on December 2 at the center’s Opera House in Washington, DC.

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At this year’s awards ceremony, which is an American national celebration of the arts, honorees included entertainer Cher, composer and pianist Philip Glass, country music singer Reba McEntire, and jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter.

Also at this year’s awards, the team behind the Broadway smash hit Hamilton were presented with a first-of-its-kind honor. Writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and music director Alex Lacamoire received an award that recognized them as “trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category.”

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said: “The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes exceptional artists who have made enduring and indelible marks on our culture.”

Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Kennedy Center, said: “The world looks to America for its creative instincts and artistic courage.”

“This year’s slate of Honorees represents the pinnacle of our nation’s originality and the rich mosaic of diverse perspectives and art forms that has come to define who we are as a people.”

2017 honoree Gloria Estefan hosted the star-studded gala which included performances from Kelly Clarkson, Kristin Chenoweth, and Adam Lambert. Noticeably absent was President Trump and wife Melania; sitting presidents typically attend the event.

Special homage was presented to former President George H.W. Bush who passed away on November 30 at the age of 94.

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Host Gloria Estefan said: “I think it’s appropriate to recognize the passing of a wonderful man who dedicated his life to service and who graciously attended this event many times during his administration, laughing, applauding, singing along and even shedding a tear from right up there in the presidential box.”

The Honors Gala will be broadcast on the CBS Network for the 41st consecutive year as a two-hour primetime special on Wednesday, December 26 at 8 p.m. ET.