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Mavis Staples to receive Kennedy Center Honor

Al Pacino, James Taylor, and the Eagles will also be recognized

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Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

The Kennedy Center announced Thursday that it will honor Mavis Staples, Al Pacino, the Eagles, James Taylor, and Argentine pianist Martha Argerich at a gala later this year. The event will be held December 4 at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. and will be broadcast December 27 on CBS.

“These honorees represent what is possible when creativity is not just cultivated, but unleashed,” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in a release. “Mavis Staples’ unmatched gospel and rhythm and blues masterpieces span 60 years and even served as a musical backdrop to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign for civil rights.”

The list of recent honorees at the Kennedy Center event includes Buddy Guy, Led Zeppelin, and David Letterman (2012); Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, and Carlos Santana (2013); Al Green, Tom Hanks, and Patricia McBride (2014); and Carole King, George Lucas, and Rita Moreno (2015).

In 2016, Staples has released a new album and been the subject of an HBO documentary. She’s currently on tour with Bob Dylan.

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