Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy, and dancer Natalia Makarova have been selected for the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced Wednesday.
Led Zeppelin is being honored as a band, but keyboardist-bassist John Paul Jones, guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant each will receive the Kennedy Center Honors. Drummer John Bonham died in 1980.
Blues legend Guy was one of the band's many influences.
The gala is scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and will be broadcast on Dec. 26 on CBS.
“With their extraordinary talent, creativity and tenacity, the seven 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees have contributed significantly to the cultural life of our nation and the world,” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a statement.
Past recipients include playwright Edward Albee, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, actor Kirk Douglas, actress Angela Lansbury, actress Meryl Streep, singer Barbra Streisand and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
“Buddy Guy is a titan of the blues and has been a tremendous influence on virtually everyone who has picked up an electric guitar in the last half century," Rubenstein said. "Dustin Hoffman’s unyielding commitment to the wide variety of roles he plays has made him one of the most versatile and iconoclastic actors of this or any other generation; David Letterman is one of the most influential personalities in the history of television, entertaining an entire generation of late-night viewers with his unconventional wit and charm; Natalia Makarova’s profound artistry has ignited the stages of the world’s greatest ballet companies and continues to pass the torch to the next generation of dancers; and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant transformed the sound of rock and roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of rock and roll and laying the foundation for countless rock bands.”
Recipients are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts, whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television.
Emmy winners George Stevens, Jr. and Michael Stevens will produce the show.