Kennedy Center Honors 2010: Oprah, Obama, Willie, Oh My

Linda Sharps

The much-anticipated 2010 Kennedy Center Honors gala took place last night, with ticket prices ranging from a jaw-dropping $350 to $5,000. Awards went to Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, country singer Merle Haggard, and Broadway composer Jerry Herman.

President Obama spoke at a White House reception Sunday for the honorees, saying the Honors recipients have "given the nation the extraordinary gift of the arts." Obama said they aren't being recognized for their careers as great lyricists, songwriters, dancers, or entertainers—but rather their ability to bring people together.

Actually, it seems EXACTLY like they're being recognized for their careers, but you're the POTUS, Obama. Whatever you say. *salutes*

CBS will air its annual telecast of the events on December 28, but if you want a sneak peek at some of the highlights, here you go:

• Willie Nelson giving props to Merle Haggard, presumably NOT while torching a doob
• Alec Baldwin doing Paul McCartney's intro (apparently they are East Hampton neighbors who take, ahem, yoga classes together)
• Steven Tyler, Norah Jones, Dave Grohl, and Gwen Stefani and No Doubt performing Beatles covers
• Julia Roberts introducing Oprah Winfrey
• A Broadway revue of Jerry Herman's work starring Glee's Matthew Morrison
• Jennifer Hudson singing "I'm Here" from The Color Purple

If you want to see some photos from the 33rd annual national celebration of the arts, including some nice images of Michelle Obama's deltoids and Oprah's impressive cleavage, HuffPo has a good selection here.

Will you be watching the Honors show when it airs on CBS?

Image via The Kennedy Center

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