Last night's telecast of the Kennedy Center Honors featured Oprah Winfrey, dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, Broadway composer Jerry Herman, songwriter Merle Haggard, and Paul McCartney being feted by their admiring A-list peers. Watching from a balcony alongside Barack and Michelle Obama, each artist received a tribute, with the likes of Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Glee's Matthew Morrison, and Willie Nelson all either speaking or performing.
Highlights of the ceremony included Broadway veterans Angela Lansbury, Carol Channing, and Chita Rivera joining hands to confidently belt out one of Herman's classic showtunes, and a poignant duet of Haggard's "Silver Wings" crooned by Miranda Lambert and Kris Kristofferson.
But there were two rousing performances that stopped the show. In the first, Grammy and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson torched the auditorium with her take on the song "I'm Here" from The Color Purple in honor of Winfrey, who produced the Broadway production of the show:
The second was the tribute to McCartney. Steven Tyler's Abbey Road medley brought the audience to its feet before Mavis Staples and James Taylor ended the show with a version of "Let It Be" and "Hey Jude" that had everyone in the Kennedy Center—President included—singing along.
Here is the "Hey Jude" finale:
Read the the full story at The Washington Post.