The 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors aired last night (read Ken Tucker’s review here), and it was another ceremony filled with memorable moments. Here are a few of the highlights that have already surfaced on YouTube:
Beth Hart’s performance of “I’d Rather Go Blind” with Jeff Beck for honoree Buddy Guy moved the crowd in the theater (including Barack and Michelle Obama, watch them at 2:32 in the clip below) and at home (I know I went to iTunes and purchased that song off of her album with Joe Bonamassa, Don’t Explain).
Bonnie Raitt got the crowd moving with “Sweet Home Chicago” for Buddy Guy.
Lenny Kravitz’s “Whole Lotta Love” tribute for Led Zeppelin had President Obama singing along at :35, and enjoying the shredding at :56.
Michelle Obama had a good laugh at the start of the Foo Fighters’ portion of the Led Zeppelin tribute.
The show closed with an epic rendition of “Stairway to Heaven” by Ann and Nancy Wilson and a choir that made honoree Robert Plant tear up (at 4:30 and 5:08, he’ll get you, too).
Tina Fey’s hilarious, heartfelt words introducing the David Letterman tribute haven’t surfaced yet, but Ray Romano’s speech has. He explained why he didn’t give up after getting fired after the first day of rehearsal for his first TV pilot: “Do you quit when you’re down one-nothing in debates? No! No! Keep going,” he cracked. (And cut to the Obamas howling.) Romano almost got Letterman, whose company then signed Romano to a development deal that yielded Everybody Loves Raymond, to cry.