Carole King and George Lucas: 2015 Kennedy Center Honorees and American Masters

George Lucas (left) and Carole King (right)

George Lucas (left) and Carole King (right) are among the 2015 Kennedy Center Honorees, and American Masters.

Two American Masters are recipients of The 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, which recognize lifetime artistic achievement. Honoree singer-songwriter Carole King is the subject of American Masters – Carole King: You’ve Got a Friend, premiering Feb. 19, 2016. Filmmaker George Lucas, creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, was featured in American Masters – George Lucas: Heroes, Myths and Magic (1993). The gala award ceremony at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, took place December 6 and will be broadcast December 29, 2015 at 9pm ET/PT on CBS.

The Kennedy Center’s 38th annual national celebration of the arts also honors actress and singer Rita Moreno, whose early film roles include Tuptim in The King and I and Anita in West Side Story; conductor Seiji Ozawa, Music Director Laureate of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Director of the Vienna State Opera; and actress Cicely Tyson, who this year at the age of 90 starred in The Gin Game on Broadway, opposite James Earl Jones.

The music group The Eagles were to be honored this year, but as announced in early November, the presentation of the band’s Kennedy Center Honors will be postponed until 2016 due to the health of band member Glen Frey. This year marks the first gala evening to be produced by White Cherry Entertainment, the company that has produced Broadway’s Tony Awards since 2003.

The stars who paid tribute with performances and testimony are as compelling a reason to tune-in as the honorees themselves. Among them, Aretha Franklin (Kennedy Center Honoree 1994), James Taylor, Janelle Monae and Sara Bareilles sang songs penned by Carole King; Carrie Fischer, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese (Kennedy Center Honoree 2007) praised George Lucas, and actress and choreographer Rosie Perez performed a Rita Moreno-inspired “Fever.”

Carole King and George Lucas join a long list of American Masters artists who have been honored by The Kennedy Center in the past 38 years.

American Masters and Year of Kennedy Center Honor

Carole King (2015)
Carole King: Natural Woman airs Feb. 19, 2016
George Lucas (2015)
Merle Haggard (2010)
Bill T. Jones (2010)
Mel Brooks (2009)
Martin Scorsese (2007)
Tony Bennett (2005)
James Brown (2003)
Carol Burnett (2003)
Loretta Lynn (2003)
Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl airs Mar. 4, 2016
Mike Nichols (2003)
Mike Nichols: American Masters airs Jan. 29, 2016
James Levine (2002)
Paul Simon (2002)
Quincy Jones (2001)
Placido Domingo (2000)
Clint Eastwood (2000)
Willie Nelson (1998).
Bob Dylan (1997)
B.B. King (1995)
B.B. King: The Life of Riley airs Feb. 12, 2016
Sidney Poitier (1995)
Neil Simon (1995)
Aretha Franklin (1994)
Pete Seeger (1994)
Johnny Carson (1993)
Paul Taylor (1992)
Gregory Peck (1991)
Billy Wilder (1990)
Alwin Nikolais (1987)
Lucille Ball (1986)
Ray Charles (1986)
Yehudi Menuhin (1986)
Merce Cunningham (1985)
Lena Horne (1984)
Danny Kaye (1984)
Arthur Miller (1984)
Isaac Stern (1984)
Elia Kazan (1983)
Lillian Gish (1982)
Gene Kelly (1982)
Benny Goodman (1982)
Cary Grant (1981)
Helen Hayes (1981)
Jerome Robbins (1981)
Leonard Bernstein (1980)
Aaron Copland (1979)
Ella Fitzgerald (1979)
Martha Graham (1979)
Tennessee Williams (1979)
George Balanchine (1978)
Richard Rodgers (1978)
Arthur Rubinstein (1978)