U2 among the 45th annual Kennedy Center Honors recipients

Credit: Olaf Heine

Irish rockers U2 are among the five honorees who will be saluted at the 45th edition of the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors gala. The star-studded tribute ceremony will be held December 4 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C.

This year’s other Kennedy Center honorees are and pop/R&B legend Gladys Knight, actor/filmmaker George Clooney, Christian music artist Amy Grant and Cuban-born American composer and conductor Tania León.

The awards are presented annually by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to people who have made lasting contributions to American culture through the performing arts.

A two-hour TV special documenting this year’s event will be broadcast at a later date on CBS, and will be streamed and be made available on demand on Paramount+.

In a joint statement, U2’s Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. say of the honor, “[W]e never imagined that 40 years on [from our first trip to the U.S.], 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. We consider America to be a home away from home and we are very grateful to the Kennedy Center Honors for welcoming us into this great clan of extraordinary artists.”

Meanwhile, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein lauds U2 as “one of most influential rock bands of the modern rock era,” noting that they “won over America and the world long ago with their iconic anthems, potent lyrics, and powerful messages of social justice and global citizenship — earning a musical legacy that crosses generations, inspires, and unites.”

For more details about this year’s event, visit Kennedy-Center.org.

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