Is the Kennedy Center taking a turn for the middlebrow? The Kennedy Center announced that Oprah Winfrey will be one of five artists to receive this year’s Kennedy Center Honors. She’ll receive the award alongside Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, dancer-choreographer Bill T. Jones, and composer-lyricist Jerry Herman. Winfrey’s selection is somewhat unusual, because she’s not a performing artist, but it’s also not unprecedented: Johnny Carson won the honors in 1993. “This feels like an official American citizenship in a very exclusive club of artists and contributors to the nation in a very special way,” Oprah said of her selection. “It feels like an elevated kind of award and there aren't many in this category. They look at your work, your life work, who you are as a human being and the spirit of who you are as a human being. Not many honors look at that depth."
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