Icons Collide As Ariana DeBose Performs Motown Classic For Gladys Knight In New Kennedy Center Honors Video

The 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors are fast-approaching, and music legend Gladys Knight is among the honorees. Known for her success across musical genres including soul, R&B, gospel, and pop over the more than half century of her career, she is receiving a tribute from another icon with a Motown classic that Knight originally sang with The Pips. Check out Ariana DeBose (who shot to fame herself in recent years) singing “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” in the video above!

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” was the song that earned Gladys Knight her very first Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance back in 1967, which would be followed by another 21 nominations over the years, so what better song for Ariana DeBose to perform for Knight at the Kennedy Center Honors? Knight would go on to win seven Grammys. DeBose is backed up by her own version of The Pips and sparkling in her gold dress, and Knight looks impressed! That’s certainly something for Ariana DeBose to be proud of, after performing the song that earned Knight her very first Grammy nomination in front of the legend herself.

It’s safe to say that viewers from home will be impressed by the performance when the 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors airs on Wednesday, December 28 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, and not just because the glimpse of the audience showed that they were enjoying it as well. Ariana DeBose brings her own list of accomplishments to earn the spot of singing ”I Heard It Through The Grapevine” to the legend, winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress earlier in 2022 for her role in West Side Story, and won in the same category at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards. She was also part of the original Hamilton cast

Gladys Knight will be honored among some other greats in performing arts. The other four include actor and filmmaker George Clooney; Irish band U2, made up of Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.; contemporary pop singer and songwriter Amy Grant; and Tania León, a Cuban-born conductor and composer. The 44th Annual honorees in 2021 were SNL creator Lorne Michaels, Broadway veteran and singer Bette Midler, musician Joni Mitchell, Motown record label founder and record executive Berry Gordy, and opera singer Justino Diáz.

Ariana DeBose will only be one big name who comes out to celebrate the honorees, so be sure to tune in to find out who will hit the stage to pay tribute to the accomplishments of Gladys Knight and all the others. President Joe Biden and wife Dr. Jill Biden attended as well! The 45th Annual Kennedy Center Honors air on Wednesday, December 28 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. For those who prefer to stream their entertainment, the event will also stream live and be available on demand for Paramount+ subscribers. The 2023 TV schedule is just weeks away, so be sure to check out the Kennedy Center Honors before the year ends!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).