This year’s Kennedy Center Honors gala paid tribute to a couple of Rock and Roll icons.
The December 7 event, which aired yesterday (December 29), honored Carlos Santana and Billy Joel, and featured some of music’s finest covering their songs.
The Santana-dedicated portion of the evening kicked off with an intro from singer Harry Belafonte and continued on with performances by Stevie Winwood, drummer Sheila E. and Australian guitarist Orianthi who collaborated on the song “Everybody’s Everything,” as well as Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Latin artists Juanes and Fher Olvera who rocked a “Black Magic Woman/Oye Coma Va” medley.
Legendary guitarist Buddy Guy also dedicated a rendition of “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” to Santana, who is a longtime fan of the blues musician.
Next on the rock docket was Billy Joel, whose intro came from none other than Tony Bennett. After the singer noted that Joel was one of the greatest songwriters of all-time, his point was further made when artists such as Don Henley, Garth Brooks and Rufus Wainwright took the stage to perform classics like “She’s Got a Way,” “Allentown,” “Goodnight Saigon,” “New York State of Mind” and “Piano Man.”
During Brooks’ performance of “Goodnight Saigon,” a group of veterans joined him on stage to lend their voices for an emotional moment that was only elevated when everyone returned once more to collectively sing “Piano Man” with Wainwright taking lead.
Other honorees of the evening included jazz icon Herbie Hancock, opera singer Martina Arroyo and actress/Broadway star Shirley MacLaine.
Check out some of the videos from the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors gala below and be sure to tell us what you think of the performances in the comments section!