John P. Filo/CBSThe 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors special aired last night on CBS, and the show featured star-studded tributes to The Eagles, James Taylor and gospel/soul great Mavis Staples, as well as Al Pacino and classical pianist Martha Argerich.
The Eagles portion of the event included a spoken-word homage from Ringo Starr, who joked that Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, his brother-in-law, “forced him” to do it.
Performances came from Bob Seger, who sang “Heartache Tonight,” modern rockers Kings of Leon, who sang “Take It Easy,” country star Vince Gill, who sang “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” and Colombian rock singer Juanes, along with guest musicians Steve Vai and longtime Eagles touring guitarist Steuart Smith, performing “Hotel California.” Seger and Gill also teamed up to sing “Life in the Fast Lane.”
Among the performers on hand to salute Taylor were Sheryl Crow and country superstar Garth Brooks, who performed Taylor’s version of “How Sweet It Is,” while President Bill Clinton and classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma delivered spoken tributes.
“His contribution to our lives goes way beyond his contribution to the American Songbook,” said Clinton of Taylor. “Because for five decades, his melodies and lyrics have literally become seams in the fabric of our national life.”
Staples, meanwhile, was saluted by Bonnie Raitt, young pop-rock star Elle King, R&B singer Andra Day and actor Don Cheadle.
Other stars who took part in the ceremony include Sean Penn, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne and opera legend Placido Domingo. Stephen Colbert hosts the show, which airs at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.
The 2016 Kennedy Center Honors ceremony was held on December 4 in Washington, D.C. In attendance were surviving Eagles Walsh, Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit, plus Taylor, Staples, Pacino, Argerich and President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.