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Smooth Songs of Al Green and Sting Feted Along with Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Patricia McBride for Kennedy Center Honors [Video]

The group Earth, Wind & Fire performs a tribute to singer Al Green for the 37th annual Kennedy Center Honors. (Photo: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS)

Iconic singer-songwriters Al Green and Sting and their smooth sounds were feted at the 37th Kennedy Center Honors, which aired Tuesday night on CBS.

Green and Sting were honored along with actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, ballerina Patricia McBride, singer-songwriter Sting and comedienne Lily Tomlin.

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said of the honorees:

Al Green’s iconic voice stirs our souls in a style that is all his own; Tom Hanks has a versatility that ranks him among the greatest actors of any generation; one of the world’s greatest ballerinas, Patricia McBride continues to carry forward her legacy for future generations; Sting’s unique voice and memorable songwriting have entertained audiences for decades; and from the days of her early television and theatrical appearances, Lily Tomlin has made us laugh and continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit.”

The 37th annual Kennedy Center Honorees included, front row from left, ballerina Patricia McBride and comedienne, actor and entertainer Lily Tomlin; back row, filmmaker-actor Tom Hanks, singer-songwriter Sting and singer Al Green. (Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS)
The honors were awarded Dec. 7 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in attendance for the two-hour celebration.

Green’s tribute included an introduction by Whoopi Goldberg, with performances by Earth, Wind & Fire (“I Can’t Get Next to You” and “Love & Happiness”), Jennifer Hudson (“Simply Beautiful”), Usher (“Let’s Stay Together”) and Mavis Staples and Sam Moore (“Take Me to the River”).

Sting’s tribute included an introduction by Meryl Streep, with performances by Lady Gaga (“If I Ever Lose My Faith in You”), Esperanza Spalding with pianist Herbie Hancock (“Fragile”), Bruce Springsteen (“I Hung My Head”) and Bruno Mars (a medley of “So Lonely,” “Roxanne” and “Message In a Bottle”) with members of Sting’s Broadway musical “The Last Ship.”

Hanks’ tribute included an introduction by David Letterman and Martin Short as master of ceremonies, with performances by Short; Pentatonix (“That Thing You Do”); Laura Benanti, Jessie Mueller and Kelli O’Hara (“They Can’t Take that Away From Me”); and Short and the entire Hanks’ tribute cast (“Yankee Doodle Dandy”).

Tomlin’s tribute included an introduction by Garrison Keillor, with performances by Jane Lynch, Kate McKinnon, Reba McEntire and Jane Fonda.

McBride’s tribute include an intro by Christine Baranski, with performances by New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck, New York City Ballet soloist Lauren Lovette and Boston Ballet principal dancer Jeffrey Cirio, American Ballet Theater dancer Misty Copeland, Peck and New York City ballet principal dancer Jared Angle and The Charlotte Ballet plus the others in McBride’s tribute cast.

Al Green Tribute

String Tribute

Tom Hanks Tribute

Lily Tomlin Tribute

Patricia McBride Tribute

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