Amy Grant Responds to Her Kennedy Center Honor
In a televised special tonight, Amy Grant became the first contemporary Christian music star to be recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors. The Kennedy Center Honors are annual honors given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture. They have been presented annually since 1978, culminating each December in a gala celebrating five honorees in the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C.
This distinction is well deserved: Amy Grant's total career album sales have exceeded thirty million with over one billion global streams. She has received six Grammy Awards and twenty-six Dove Awards, including four Artist of the Year Awards.
The Highwomen, made up of Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires and Brandi Carlile, also took to the stage to perform "Somewhere Down the Road," a track from Grant's seventeenth studio album of the same name. Meanwhile, Sheryl Crow performed Grant's #1 hit "Baby, Baby." Wearing an all black dress adorned with feathers, Crow performed the tune, which is the lead single from Grant's eighth studio album, Heart In Motion.
"Amy, you inspire me as a musician, as a mom, as a great friend," Crow gushed prior to her performance of the Grant hit.
BeBe Winans, CeCe Winans, Dianne Reeves, Hozier, Jamala and Michael W. Smith with the Howard Gospel Choir also paid homage to Grant with an all-star performance of "Sing Your Praise to the Lord." Katie Couric also congratulated Grant on the honor and recalled a statement she once told her that has stuck with her through the years.
"Amy, you once shared the four words your sweet mom said to you, words you've never forgotten: Sing something that matters," Couric said. "Well, you've done it and you're still doing it."
Grant responds, "Last night as I watched the Kennedy Center Honors, what I thought about was ALL the many people who have stood by my side, dreamed with me, encouraged me, written songs with me, recorded with me, performed with me and prayed for me. This moment was for all of us.
"I am so grateful to The Kennedy Center for extending the invitation to be included with this incredible class. It is truly an honor to be mentioned alongside Gladys Knight, George Clooney, Tania León and U2.
"To Katie Couric, Sheryl Crow, The Highwomen (Natalie Hemby, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires), Jason Isbell, Bebe Winans, Cece Winans and Michael W. Smith -- thank you for sharing your gifts with the world as you sang my songs and told my story. Thanks also to Garth Brooks, President Biden and David Rubenstein for the heartfelt remarks throughout the weekend. And to Lauren Daigle and Dolly Parton, thank you for adding your voices to this honor apart from the televised broadcast.
"To my kids and family -- thank you for showing up in all the ways you do. I love you. And to Vince - thank you for being by my side in every way that matters most. I love you."
Elsewhere in the night were tributes to Gladys Knight from Garth Brooks and Patti LaBelle; tributes to George Clooney from Julia Roberts and Matt Damon; tributes to U2 from Hozier and more. Filmed on Sunday, December 4 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C., the 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors aired via CBS on Wednesday evening (Dec. 28) at 8 PM EST. The show also streamed on Paramount+.
Tags : Amy Grant Kennedy Center Honors The Highwomen sheryl crow Howard Gospel Choir bebe winans Cece Winans Michael W. Smith Jamala Dianne Reeves