The 2008 honorees are to be saluted by great performers from around the world in a star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, with President George W. Bush and his wife Laura in attendance,
"With their extraordinary genius and tenacity, the 2008 honorees have redefined the way we see, hear and feel the performing arts. We will forever be thankful for the great gifts they have shared with us," Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said in a statement Tuesday.
"Morgan Freeman's name is synonymous with great screen acting and is one of the most respected performers in American cinema," Schwarzman added. "With his unique voice and extraordinary career endurance, singer George Jones has been instrumental in making country music a vital force in American life. Barbra Streisand's trailblazing career in music, theater, films and television is one of the most thrilling spectacles of our culture. Choreographer Twyla Tharp is an American original, whose work has indelibly enriched the vocabulary of modern dance, contemporary ballet and the Broadway musical. As the heart and soul of the seminal band The Who, songwriters and singers Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey transformed the sights and sounds of rock and roll."