Tony-nominated actress Anna Kendrick, country music superstar Garth Brooks, and legendary guitarist Buddy Guy were among the highlighted performers who paid tribute to their idols at the annual Kennedy Center Honors.
Taped in early December, this year's show aired Sunday night on CBS, and paid tribute to Carlos Santana, Martina Arroyo, Shirley MacLaine, Herbie Hancock, and Billy Joel.
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Kendrick, a 1998 Tony nominee, performed "It's Not Where You Start — It's Where You Finish" from the Broadway musical "Seesaw" as part of tribute for MacLaine.
Guy, 77, wowed the crowd with his guitar solo in "Hoochie Coochie Man," for the show-opening Santana tribute.
Brooks, who recorded a version of Joel's 1989 song "Shameless" and often sings it in concert, brought the audience to its feet when he was joined onstage by veterans for "Goodnight Saigon." Singer Rufus Wainwright closed the night with two Joel classics, "New York State of Mind" and "Piano Man," eliciting another standing ovation.
Though a holiday staple, the ratings for the 2014 show, the 36th annual ceremony, fell 36 percent from last year to a 0.9 demo rating. The show aired on a Wednesday last year, as opposed to competing with a Sunday Night Football playoff-determining game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.
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