Kennedy Center to honor George Lucas, Cicely Tyson, Seiji Ozawa | News Entertainment

Kennedy Center to honor George Lucas, Cicely Tyson, Seiji Ozawa

15 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2015 Kennedy Center honorees include George Lucas, Rita Moreno and the Eagles.

The 2015 Kennedy Center honorees will be the Eagles, singer Carole King, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, theater legend Rita Moreno, Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa and actress Cicely Tyson.

Hollywood icon George Lucas, rockers Eagles, singer-songwriter Carole King and actress and singer Rita Moreno were named Wednesday to receive awards at the 38th Kennedy Center Honors, to be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 29, 2015. CBS’ annual telecast will be taped on Dec. 6, with Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment executive producing the special. “Quite simply, our honorees represent the voices, soundtracks and stories of our personal lives and memories,” Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein said in a statement Wednesday. “The music of the Eagles has endured as the quintessential American rock and roll sound for generations; Carole King’s heartfelt lyrics and tunes are woven throughout the tapestry of American music; George Lucas’ films have enriched our world with stories of epic adventure; Rita Moreno’s iconic spitfire roles are embedded in the heart of American culture; Seiji Ozawa’s artistic leadership as a conductor has set a new standard for orchestras around the world; and Cicely Tyson’s range of strong female roles on stage and screen have broken boundaries for women of color,” he added.

Organizers said they didn’t want to pass up the chance to honor any of these artists with the national award for influencing American culture through the arts. A self-described storyteller at heart, Lucas, 71, created some of the most successful movie franchises with “Star Wars and “Indiana Jones.” He’s also hailed as a pioneer in developing new digital technology to enhance his films’ visual and sound qualities. Lucas said the Kennedy Center acknowledgement is a great honor. “The honorees over the history of the awards are huge, and it’s great to be in the same company,” he said. It’s just the passage of life.” Now Lucas is working to share his craft with the public through a new museum of narrative art planned for Chicago. Moreno just finished a new album in Spanish produced by Emilio Estefan and an independent film called “Remember Me.” Last month she was grand marshal of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.

The renowned actress known for her portrayals of strong black women, Tyson, 90, said she was speechless and breathless when she heard she would be receiving “the highest honor given to a performer.” Tyson may be best known for her leading role in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” and she was nominated for an Academy Award for “Sounder.” Her performances in “Roots,” ”The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All,” ”Fried Green Tomatoes,” ”Diary of a Mad Black Woman” and “The Help” have made an impact as well. “During my career I certainly questioned whether or not I was doing the right thing when I turned down roles,” she said. “Needless to say there were very few roles over the years written for women. So there’s always been that challenge.” Tyson will return to Broadway in September, co-starring with James Earl Jones in “The Gin Game.” Returning to the stage is “like the beginning of a whole new career again,” she said, laughing. It’s been nearly 30 years since King, 73, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for her broad influence on pop music, defining the sounds of the 1960s and 70s. Glenn Frey and Don Henley co-wrote most of the band’s best-known songs, including “Hotel California.” They began touring as members of Linda Ronstadt’s backing band but then began writing songs for their debut album, “Eagles.” The band members came together from their roots in Detroit, Texas, Kansas and California and stayed together from 1971 to 1980. We are truly humbled to have been able to be a part of this global connection.” One of the celebrities of classical music, Ozawa, 79, was music director of the Boston Symphony for 29 years until 2002.

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