The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors pays tribute to Star Wars director George Lucas, singer/songwriter Carole King, actresses Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson, and conductor Seiji Ozawa. During the televised event, hosted by Stephen Colbert, Stormtroopers will storm the stage and Aretha Franklin will sing “Natural Woman” which was written by King. But it’s the performance of gospel singer CeCe Winans that will move the audience to tears.
Ten-time Grammy winner CeCe Winans is the best-selling female gospel artist of all time. One of her hits is the duet “Count On Me” with Whitney Houston from the Waiting To Exhale soundtrack. (Winans sang at Houston’s funeral and was godmother to Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown who died in July 2015.) At the Kennedy Center, Winans, the 51-year-old Detroit native, will sing the song “Blessed Assurance” to honor 91-year-old Cicely Tyson, who sang the hymn in the play The Trip to Bountiful (she also starred in the 2014 film with Vanessa Williams). On stage, Winans is joined by the Cicely Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts choir and trumpeter Terence Blanchard who will also pay tribute to Tyson’s late husband Miles Davis. They were married from 1981-1988. Davis died in 1991.