- 29 Nov 22
This season's list of Honorees also includes George Clooney, Amy Grant, Gladys Knight and Tania León.
U2 are set to travel to Washington D.C. this weekend, to receive The John F. Kennedy Center Honours – which recognises "living individuals who throughout their lifetimes have made significant contributions to American culture through the performing arts."
The Irish band will be honoured alongside actor and filmmaker George Clooney, singer-songwriter Amy Grant, singer Gladys Knight, and Cuban-born American composer Tania León, at an event in the Kennedy Center Opera House on Sunday, December 4 – which will later be televised on CBS on December 28.
“In December 1980, we made our first trip across the Atlantic to America," U2 wrote in a statement on the Kennedy Center website. "Our first show was at The Ritz in New York City, the second, The Bayou in D.C. We had big dreams then, fueled in part by the commonly held belief at home that America smiles on Ireland. And it turned out to be true, yet again.
"But even in the wilder thoughts, we never imagined that 40 years on, 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.”
The Kennedy Center Honours, now in their 45th year, have been compared to a knighthood in the UK, or the French Legion of Honour – and are considered "the quintessential reward for a lifetime's endeavour."
Those who have been presented with The Kennedy Center Honours since 1978 include Ella Fitzgerald, Cary Grant, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Sinatra, Arthur Miller, Bette Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Harry Belafonte, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Luciano Pavarotti, Julie Andrews, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, Brian Wilson, Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Tom Hanks Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Meryl Streep, and more.