The Kennedy Center Honors-The 20 Best Performances, Part Two

Photo property of the Kennedy Center.

The second part of the countdown celebrates the 10 best performances that were featured on CBS’s The Kennedy Center Honors. 

So before you see Meryl Streep, Sonny Rollins, Yo-Yo Ma, Neil Diamond and Barbara Cook get honored on December 27, 2011.  Here are the Top 10 performances that you need to see….

#10: I Just Called To Say I Love You-Diane Schuur

Jazz singer Diane Schuur delivered a moving version of Stevie’s 1980s classic when he received his Kennedy Center Honor in 1999.

To listen to this incredible cover, click here:

#9: The Times They Are A Changin’-Bruce Springsteen

Approximately 12 years before the Boss received his own Kennedy Center tribute, Springsteen honored legendary rocker Bob Dylan as he performed his cover of Dylan’s classic.

To watch Springsteen’s performance, click here:

#8: The Way We Were-Beyoncé

Four years after paying tribute to the Queen of Rock, the R&B superstar returned to pay tribute to the legendary superstar Barbra Streisand.  Her rendition of Stresiand’s legendary song took viewers’ breaths away and gave them chills.

Click here to see her performance that moved the entertainment icon:

#7: Islands in the Stream-Carrie Underwood and Kenny Rogers

American Idol winner Carrie Underwood performed the classic duet with legendary country artist Kenny Rogers as they honored Rogers’ original duet partner: music icon Dolly Parton.

To watch the tribute, click here:

#6: Love and Mercy-Libera

The all-boys English choir came all the way from London to pay tribute to legendary singer-songwriter Brian Wilson that moved the legendary Beach Boy and the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors audience.

Click here to listen to this masterpiece that includes a surprise at the end of the song:

#5 Georgia on the Mind-Yolanda Adams

Gospel singer Yolanda Adams delivered a moving rendition of “Georgia On My Mind” for the late James Brown’s 2003 Kennedy Center Honors.

Click here to watch this powerful cover that moved the Godfather of Soul, fellow honoree Carol Burnett and the audience:

#4: Love Reign O’er Me-Bettye LaVette

One of the best performances of the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors came from Bettye LaVette.  She took the Who’s classic song and made it her own rendition that moved the Who’s Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and the entire audience.

To watch Bettye LaVette perform her unique version of the classic rock song, click here:

#3: Let It Be/Hey Jude-James Taylor, Mavis Staples and Steven Tyler

This performance brought together three different legends from diverse fields.   James Taylor sang the first verse of the Beatles classic while gospel legend Mavis Staples injected soul into the latter half of the song before closing the show with rocker Steven Tyler with “Hey Jude.”

Click here to watch this amazing tribute:

#2: Ain’t No Way-Patti LaBelle

Sometimes it takes a legend to pay tribute to an icon.  The Queen of Rock N’ Soul delivered a powerful rendition of Aretha Franklin’s classic “Ain’t No Way” that impressed the Queen of Soul and the audience during Aretha’s 1994 Kennedy Center tribute.

To watch Patti tear into the song, click here:

#1:  Your Song-Heather Headley

The best performance that was featured on this show belongs to The Lion King and Aida star Heather Headley.  She delivered a version of “Your Song” that combined passion, soul and an outstanding vocal performance that touched Sir Elton John and many audience members who attended the 2004 Kennedy Center ceremony.

To watch this moving performance, click here:


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  12. Jeff Ellis says

    I would add these to Top 10:
    Eddie Vedder: My City in Ruins
    Lyle Lovett: God Only Knows

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  15. At leat for me, there is no one compared with Ray Charles singing “My Buddy” in the tribute to Quincy Jones. His version and his performance is simply touching and astonishing. It takes your breath away.


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