On Dec. 7th, an historic acknowledgement of the depth and breadth of British rock influence in the fabric of American culture, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has selected founding members of legendary British rock band The Who, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, to be among the distinguished honorees who will receive the Kennedy Center Honors of 2008. Joined by four other recipients to be honored at the 31st annual national celebration of the arts: actor Morgan Freeman, singer George Jones, actress, singer, Barbra Streisand, and choreographer Twyla Tharp.
Bettye LaVette stunned the audience with a standout performance of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" at The Kennedy Center Honors recently. According to Who guitarist Pete Townshend, "My favorite moment was when Bettye LaVette sang a very fine version of 'Love Reign O'er Me' at the Gala. Pete Townshend told LaVette that her performance moved him to tears. And Townshend told her that Streisand turned to him while LaVette was singing and remarked, "You wrote that?" Townshend said yes and started to say more, but Streisand put her hand over his mouth so she could hear the rest of the song. Later, Townshend urged LaVette to record the song, and offered to write her another.
“This is a great thrill,” stated Mr. Townshend. “Since the Who began in the early ’60s we have loved American music and audiences and have made deep and lasting friendships with everyone involved in the industry there. Roger and I both feel our work in the United States has been as important as our work at home. Because our medium rock music is
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