The Kennedy Center Honors went on just fine without Donald Trump sitting in the presidential box. Honorees Norman Lear, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, LLCoolJ and Carmen deLavallade got the full star treatment from famous friends and relatives.
None other than Meryl Streep spoke for deLavallade, who was once her teacher at Yale. Famed ballerina Misty Copeland also gave deLavallade, a famed teacher and performer and widow of Geoffrey Holder, a toast.
Lionel Richie was given a tribute by his daughter Nicole Richie. (Brenda Richie, Nicole’s mother and Lionel’s ex, who famous beat up Lionel and one of girlfriends after finding them in bed together, was spotted. Nice to see they made up.) Stevie Wonder, Leona Lewis, and Luke Bryan performed for Lionel. Stevie sang “Easy,” Luke did “Hello,” and Leona finished it off with “All Night Long.”
Chaka Khan sang for Gloria Estefan, as did her talented daughter, Emily Estefan. Run DMC did the honors for LL Cool J, as did Queen Latifah. Rob Reiner spoke for Norman Lear, and there were clips from Lear’s shows like “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons.”
Also seen at the KC tonight: Kenny Rogers, who had one of his biggest hits with “Lady,” written by Richie. Some local politico types like Rand Paul, Steny Hoyer, and Valerie Jarrett were on hand as well.
The Kennedy Center Honors airs on CBS later this month.