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Kennedy Center Honors Featuring Cicely Tyson Airs on CBS

Legendary actress Cicely Tyson stunned on Sunday as one of the honorees for the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors.

The annual celebration has become the star-studded event of the season attracting A-listers from Broadway to D.C. to Hollywood.  Tyson was one of six honorees celebrated for their lifetime contributions to the arts and American culture.  Other honorees included Rita Moreno, Carole King, George Lucas and Seiji Ozawa.

Broadway Black beauties Viola Davis and Kerry Washington were on hand for Tyson’s tribute to share all the ways the timeless 90 year old had inspired them and their work.

“Cicely Tyson does not merely act,” said Washington. “She soars. She sings. She vibrates. She is music.”

Davis, who recently worked opposite Tyson as her daughter on the hit-series “How to Get Away With Murder,” had this to say about the icon: “my friend, my inspiration, my TV mother…[she] motivates others to follow her lead and her dreams.”

Since her breakthrough performance in the critically acclaimed “Sounder,” Tyson has earned a bevy of Academy, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations over the span of her 60-year career.  In 2013, she won her first Tony Award for her captivating portrayal of “Carrie Watts” in A Trip to Bountiful.  She can currently be seen on Broadway in The Gin Game with long-time friend, James Earl Jones.

In all, Tyson has nearly 100 acting credits in film, TV and stage, but as Producer Tyler Perry explained, she has always been selective in the works with which she chooses to associate herself.

“She turned down more roles than you could imagine because they didn’t lift or serve us as a people,” Perry said. “For six decades, she has been diligent in her pursuit to better us all.”

When asked how she felt about receiving the presidential honor, she simply responded, “I am still in shock,” the humility ironic against her regal sophistication. “I consider this tantamount to being honored by the queen.”

The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS on Dec. 29 at 9 P.M.


Kerry Washington gives an amazing introduction for Cece Winans, Terrence Blanchard, & The Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing & Fine Arts Choir singing Blessed Assurance.

Aretha Franklin performs (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman like you’ve never seen before for another honoree, Carole King.

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