Led Zeppelin have been honored at the annual Kennedy Centre Honours event, with President Barack Obama on hand to give the legendary British rock group a touching tribute. Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman, chat show host David Letterman, blues star Buddy Guy and ballerina Natalia Makarova were others to receive Kennedy Center Honors at the event on Sunday night, but all eyes were on Led Zeppelin who achieved critical and commercial acclaim throughout the late 1960’s and 70’s.
"When Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham burst onto the musical scene in the late 1960's, the world never saw it coming” opened Obama. "There was this singer with a mane like a lion and a voice like a banshee, a guitar prodigy who left people’s jaws on the floor, a versatile bassist who was equally at home on the keyboards, a drummer who played like his life depended on it.”
Obama also pointed out – perhaps a little inaccurately – that America were the first to take to the group, saying “When the Brits initially kept their distance, Led Zeppelin grabbed America from the opening chord. We were ready for what Jimmy called songs with "a lot of light and shade". He finished "It’s been said that a generation of young people survived teenage angst with a pair of headphones and a Zeppelin album ... but even now, 32 years after John Bonham’s passing - and we all I think appreciate the fact - the Zeppelin legacy lives on." The group recently released a DVD of their one-off comeback show from 2007 at the O2 Arena in London, though they’ve expressed no desire to reunite for any more live shows.