People are going crazy for Adam Lambert’s and Cyndi Lauper’s tribute to Cher at the Kennedy Center Honors on Dec. 2.
The Honors presented awards to performers from multiple different genres this year, including Cher, Reba McEntire, Philip Glass, Wayne Shorter, and “Hamilton” creators Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire.
There were tons of great performances during the Honors, but the tribute to music legend Cher blew everyone away.
Pop legends Cyndi Lauper and Adam Lambert each performed Cher covers separately (Lauper performing “(If I Could) Turn Back Time” and Lambert performing “Believe”) before pairing up for a duet cover of “I Got You Babe”.
Cher was touched and overwhelmed by the performances, tweeting out thanks after the Honors.
“Tried 2 write Feelings About Adam Lambert Singing Believe In Words, but Cant seem 2,” Cher shared on Twitter. “When Your senses are Overwhelmed All Can you feel with your [heart]. I Was Shocked AND Over The MOON When Cindi (Lauper) came out Rocking the house. Shocked Because SHE TOLD ME SHE WAS IN LA, & Over The Moon Because My Friend CINDI Is One Of Our ‘Great’ Singers. When Adam & Cindi Sang Together It=Heaven. ‘Little Big Town’ Were Adorable, & Harmonies. Amanda Was Genuine & Dear & When Whoopi Came Out In ”Cher Outfit” She brought Down House.”
Meanwhile, Lin-Manuel Miranda and the co-creators of “Hamilton” received a new award presented at the Kennedy Honors for the first time ever: an award for being “Trailblazing Creators of a Transformative Work That Defies,”
“The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes exceptional artists who have made enduring and indelible marks on our culture,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein.
Every one of the artists who received awards at this year’s Honors are said to be transformative artists in their own specific genre.
These are all different: Cher in pop, Reba McEntire in country music, Philip Glass in orchestral composition, and Wayne Shorter in jazz.
“The world looks to America for its creative instincts and artistic courage,” said Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “This year’s slate of Honorees represents the pinnacle of our nation’s originality and the rich mosaic of diverse perspectives and art forms that has come to define who we are as a people.”
Cher rose to fame in the mid-1960s while she was still a teenager, partnering with Sonny Bono to record hits like “I Got You Babe” and “Baby Don’t Go”.
They were an iconic musical couple of the Flower Power movement of the 1960s before breaking into television in the 1970s with The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. After their divorce, Cher went on to a successful solo musical career. Many of her songs were transformative in the music scene. She also went on to star in films, winning Academy Awards for many of her roles.
Meanwhile, Reba McEntire also got a heartfelt tribute from another pop sensation: American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Clarkson delivered an emotional speech in honor of McEntire and performed a cover of McEntire’s “Fancy”.
“Thank you so much for listening to me vent as an artist,” said Clarkson. “Thank you so much for comforting me on the phone through my tears like a friend. And thank you for being a really rad grandma for my kids.”
Clarkson is married to Brandon Blackstock, McEntire’s stepson from her former marriage.
Philip Glass, meanwhile, another honoree, is known for his many film score credits. Glass composed the scores to a huge number of well-known movies, such as “The Truman Show”, “The Illusionist”, and many more. His musical career has spanned five decades, making him a perfect honoree for this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.
Wayne Shorter, the fourth honoree, has been performing saxophone since 1959.
Born in 1933, he performed with revolutionary musical trailblazers including Miles Davis, Don Henley, Joni Mitchell, and many more. He has long been considered a genius of the jazz genre and a composer who transformed the music industry. Shorter is the recipient of 11 Grammy Awards. Now, at 85, he continues to work, composing his first opera in partnership with Esperanza Spalding.
Few people could have missed the sensation that Lin-Manuel Miranda caused in recent years. HIs 2015 musical “Hamilton” took the theater world by storm, only to be followed by the 2016 Disney musical “Moana”, for which Miranda composed the music. Though Miranda has left the cast of “Hamilton”, the hugely popular show is now playing in London, proving it can cross oceans with a story as unique as it is revolutionary.
Watch the beautiful performance below.
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