U2 Among 2022 Kennedy Center Honors Recipients


Rock band U2 and singer Gladys Knight are among the recipients of the 2022 Kennedy Center Honors, it was announced Thursday.

The awards, which recognize lifetime achievement, will be handed out Dec. 4 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. and broadcast as a two-hour special at a later date.

“In December 1980, we made our first trip across the Atlantic to America,” read a statement from U2. “Our first show was at The Ritz in New York City, the second, The Bayou in D.C. We had big dreams then, fueled in part by the commonly held belief at home that America smiles on Ireland. And it turned out to be true, yet again.

“But even in the wilder thoughts, we never imagined that 40 years on, we would be invited back to receive one of the nation’s greatest honours…It has been a four-decade love affair with the country and its people, its artists, and culture.”

U2 is only the fifth band to receive a Kennedy Center Honor and follows The Who, Led Zeppelin, Eagles and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Knight, 78, is the fifth Motown Records star to receive the honour after Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.

“I’m humbled beyond words to be included amongst this prestigious group of individuals, both past and present,” Knight said, in a statement. “You could never have told me as a young girl starting my career that I would be honoured on a stage such as this, with artists and humanitarians such as these – it just wouldn’t have seemed possible. It would have been the dream of all dreams.”

Also being feted this year at the Kennedy Center Honors are gospel singer Amy Grant and  composer-conductor Tania León, along with actor George Clooney.

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