Kennedy Center Honors 2018: Kelly Clarkson’s emotional tribute to Reba, more highlights

Kennedy Center Honors 2018: Kelly Clarkson’s emotional tribute to Reba, more highlights

The Kennedy Center packed lots of star power as it celebrated its latest class of honorees. 

Cher, Reba McEntire, saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter and composer Philip Glass received the traditional lifetime achievement honor. “Hamilton” co-creators – writer and former star Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, and music director Alex Lacamoire were honored for their “transformative work.”

Here are moments of note from the awards ceremony.

Former President George H. W. Bush is remembered

Those on stage remembered the previous leader of the United States. Host Gloria Estefan, a Kennedy Center Honors recipient last year, paid tribute to Bush in her opening remarks. 

“Before we begin with a tribute to our first honoree,” she said, “I think it’s appropriate to recognize the passing of a wonderful man who dedicated his life to service and who graciously attended this event many times during his administration, laughing, applauding, singing along and even shedding a tear from right up there in the presidential box, President George H.W. Bush.” 

Continuing, Estefan shared she and her husband were “blessed to get to know President Bush and his family over the years”. Estefan said the former president even phoned her in the hospital when her tour bus was involved in a crash in 1990. 

“He had to call our office first ’cause they wouldn’t believe the president was calling,” she said. “And he gave me words of comfort and solace and strength.”

“He was a gentle, kind man,” she said in conclusion, “who my family and I will never forget.”

David Rubenstein, Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the Kennedy Center, echoed Estefan’s sentiments. 

“I never met a more decent man, more charitable man, a more philanthropic person, a more genuine person,” he said of Bush. “And it was one of the privileges on my life to get to know him over the last 25 years.”

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