Actor Dustin Hoffman, late-night TV host David Letterman, bluesman Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are recipients of 2012 Kennedy Center Honors.
Honorees are recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts and are selected by the Kennedy Center's Board of Trustees.
In listing the attributes that earned this year's honors, Kennedy Center chairman David M. Rubenstein said, for example, "David Letterman is one of the most influential personalities in the history of television, entertaining an entire generation of late-night viewers with his unconventional wit and charm."
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will hold a reception for the honorees at the White House before the gala performance on Dec. 2, which will be broadcast 9-11 p.m. Dec. 26 on CBS. George Stevens Jr. will produce and co-write the honors for the 35th year.