Al Pacino, the Eagles and Mavis Staples to receive Kennedy Center honors

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The star of The Godfather trilogy, as well as a host of famed musicians, will be awarded with the prestigious lifetime achievement honor in December

Al Pacino, the Eagles and Mavis Staples to receive Kennedy Center honors
Al Pacino is among those honored by the Kennedy Center. Photograph: Jonathan Short/AP

This year’s Kennedy Center honorees, the prize that awards artists for influencing American culture through their lifetimes, have been announced.

The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts revealed on Thursday that Godfather actor Al Pacino, Argentinian pianist Martha Argerich, blues singer Mavis Staples, singer/songwriter James Taylor and rock band the Eagles will be the recipients of the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors, which will be broadcast on CBS in the US on 27 December.

The Eagles were set to be honored last year, but delayed it due to the health of co-founder Glenn Frey, who died in January at age 67.

For Pacino, the honor might seem overdue: many of his peers who came up around the same period in the 70s, when Pacino earned four Oscar nominations (for The Godfather, Serpico, The Godfather: Part II and Dog Day Afternoon), have already taken the prize, including Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford.

Pacino has hardly been short of gongs, however; he has received the Golden Globes’ Cecil B DeMille award for lifetime achievement, the AFI life achievement award, as well as the National Merit of Arts, given to him by Barack Obama in 2011. The president and first lady are also regular guests at the Kennedy Center event, and are set to attend this year’s gala and performance, after receiving the honorees, along with the center’s board of trustees, at the White House.

Last year, the Kennedy Center Honors hosted by Stephen Colbert, awarded George Lucas, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson, Seiji Ozawa and Carole King, with performances and tributes from Aretha Franklin, Stephen Spielberg, Viola Davis and Miranda Lambert.

This year’s special guests have yet to be announced, as has the host.

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