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Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan Among 2017 Kennedy Center Honorees

Lionel Richie, LL Cool J, and Norman Lear will also be celebrated at the 40th annual gala in December.

Gloria Estefan, whose life is the basis for the Broadway musical On Your Feet!, will be one of the five recipients of the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors.
(© David Gordon)

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts announced the five recipients of the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors whose lifetime artistic achievements will be celebrated at the 40th annual ceremony on December 3 in Washington, D.C.

This year's honorees are American dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, Cuban-American singer-songwriter and actor Gloria Estefan, American hip-hop artist and entertainment icon LL Cool J, American television writer and producer Norman Lear, and American musician and record producer Lionel Richie.

This group includes three artists with Broadway and off-Broadway ties. Though Carmen de Lavallade is mostly known as a dancer and choreographer for companies ranging from the Metropolitan Opera and American Ballet Theatre to Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, she has also carved out an extensive acting career, from her Broadway debut in the Harold Arlen-Truman Capote musical House of Flowers to off-Broadway productions of Death of a Salesman and Othello.

The Tony-nominated musical On Your Feet! is based on the lives and music of Gloria Estefan and her husband, Emilio; she is also an executive producer of the show. Directed by two-time Tony winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots) and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys), On Your Feet! features a book by Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), as well as Estefan's chart-topping hits, including "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," "1-2-3," and "Conga," plus new music penned by the Estefans.

Also, two of Lionel Richie's pop megahits, "All Night Long" and "Three Times a Lady," have been featured in the Broadway musicals Motown the Musical and Disaster!

CBS will broadcast the gala as a two-hour prime-time special on December 26 at 9pm.