Photo: Soren Solkaer StarbirdLed Zeppelin is among the luminaries who will receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors, which recognize outstanding lifetime contributions to the arts. The British hard-rock legends, along with acclaimed bluesman Buddy Guy, Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman, longtime TV host David Letterman and Russian ballerina/choreographer Natalia Makarova, will be saluted at a December 2 gala at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. A two-hour TV special featuring highlights of the event will air on CBS on December 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Although Led Zeppelin will be honored as a group at the event, the band's three surviving members -- singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones will be acknowledged individually with the award.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said, "Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant transformed the sound of rock and roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of rock and roll and ****** the foundation for countless rock bands."
The Zeppelin band mates and their fellow honorees will be seated with President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, at the Honors Gala, at which various celebrities will deliver tribute performances and presentations. A pre-gala reception and a post-event supper dance also will be held.
Other famous musicians who have received Kennedy Center Honors include Paul McCartney, Chuck Berry, Brian Wilson, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles and Johnny Cash.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio