Celebrating Icons at the 2002 Kennedy Center Honors Gala

The 2002 Kennedy Center Honors Gala was an unforgettable evening, recognizing the extraordinary contributions of legends like Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones, Chita Rivera, James Levine, and Paul Simon. Highlights of the event included Steve Martin’s heartfelt introduction of Paul Simon and a captivating performance of Simon’s “The Boxer” by James Taylor and Alison Krauss, which stole the show.

The Washington Post described the evening’s format: “The pattern is always the same: a speech by a colleague of the honoree, a short filmed biography, and then tribute performances by lesser stars — bracketed by two standing ovations for whoever’s being honored.” Despite being considered “lesser stars,” Taylor and Krauss delivered a performance that was anything but lesser in quality.

Watch their memorable rendition of “The Boxer” in the video below: