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Dustin Hoffman, Led Zeppelin & Letterman Honored by President Obama

The entertainment moguls received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors

By: Ashley Baylen
Published: December 3rd, 2012 in Culture » Society » News
Natalia Makarova, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman (from left to right)

What do Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy, and Natalia Makarova have in common? Well, besides entertaining fans in America and around the globe through the arts for decades, they came together this weekend to receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.

President Barack Obama hosted the artists from various segments of the entertainment industry at the White House on Sunday night. The honors are the United States’ highest award for those that have inspired Americans and influenced culture and art.

President Obama gave a powerful, and funny speech, pointing out that the honorees are “extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together."

After making various jokes including Led Zeppelin’s penchant for destroying hotel rooms, Buddy Guy’s humble beginnings, and Letterman’s early weather reports, Obama explained that these artists "inspired us to see things in a new way, to hear things differently, to discover something within us or to appreciate how much beauty there is in the world."

The recipients were also saluted by fellow performers at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Letterman was honored by Tina Fey and Jimmy Kimmel, Buddy Guy by Bonnie Raitt and Tracy Chapman, and Dustin Hoffman by Robert De Niro.

“Before Dustin burst on the scene, it was pretty much OK for movie stars to show up, read their lines and, if the director insisted, act a little… But then Dustin came along — and he just had to get everything right," De Niro said, praising Hoffman’s bravery and tendency towards perfectionism.

The Kennedy Center Opera House performances and speeches were filmed for a television event scheduled to be broadcast on CBS December 26th.

Related articles: Dustin Hoffman, Led Zeppelin, David Letterman, President Obama, United States, America, Arts, Culture, Kennedy Center, Honors, Tina Fey, Jimmy Kimmel, Alec Baldwin, Robert DeNiro, Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Buddy Guy
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