Here’s How to Watch the Kennedy Center Honors For Free to See the Bidens & More A-List Attendees

Kennedy Center Honors
Photo: Scott Suchman/CBS.

If you can’t wait for this star-studded event, you may want to know how to watch the Kennedy Center Honors online for free to see Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell and more honored for their achievements in the arts.

The Kennedy Center Honors started in 1978 as a way to honor names in the performing arts for their lifetime of contributions to American culture. Since the first ceremony more than 50 years ago, the Kennedy Center Honors have been held each December in a star-studded gala often attended by the President and First Lady of the United States at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington D.C.

Though the awards show, which airs on CBS, isn’t televised live, an edited version of the event usually films in December and airs on CBS sometime around Christmas. (Because of the current health crisis, the 2020 Kennedy Center Honors were filmed in May 2021 and aired in June 2021.) The honorees for the Kennedy Center Honors are chosen through recommendations from the general public. From those recommendations, an Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees selects the honoree recipients based on excellence in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures or television, with selections announced between July and September.

Since the first Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, dozens of honorees have been awarded, including Ella Fitzgerald, Debbie Allen, Sally Field, Cher, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Carole King, Stint and Tom Hanks. So where can one watch the Kennedy Center Honors? Read on ahead for how to watch the Kennedy Center Honors online for free to see Bette Midler, Joni Mitchell and more as this year’s honorees.

When are the Kennedy Center Honors 2021?

The 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors air at 8 p.m. on December 22, 2021 on CBS.

How to watch the Kennedy Center Honors 2021 online

The Kennedy Center Honors are available to stream on Paramount Plus, which offers two plan: Essential and Premium. The Essential plan includes ads and costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year (which saves users about $10 or 16 percent from the monthly rate). The Premium plan is ad-free and costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year (which saves users about $20 or 16 percent from the monthly price.) The Premium plan includes the same content as the Essential but with no commercials. The Premium plan also comes with access to the user’s local live CBS station.

The Kennedy Center Honors are also available to stream on any online cable service that offers CBS, such as Hulu+ With Live TV, Fubo TV and Sling TV. Hulu+ With Live TV and Fubo TV both cost $64.99 per month. Sling TV has a current deal that lets users subscribe for their first month for $10. After that first month, Sling TV costs $35 per month.

How to watch the Kennedy Center Honors 2021 online for free

How can one watch the Kennedy Center Honors online for free?  Read on for the tips and tricks to stream the Kennedy Center Honors at no cost.

Watch the Kennedy Center Honors With Paramount Plus’ Free Trial

The best way to watch Kennedy Center Honors online for free is with Paramount Plus’ free trial. Paramount Plus has a current deal from now until January 3, 2021, that lets users subscribe to either Essential or Premium for free for 30 days. The 30 days start after Paramount Plus’ seven-day free trial. Along with the Kennedy Center Honors, Paramount Plus, CBS’ exclusive streaming service, 30,000 episodes, 2,500 movies and 30-plus original series like The Good Fight and the iCarly reboot. After the trial ends, users can choose to subscribe for $4.99 per month for Paramount Plus’ ad-supported plan and $9.99 per month for its ad-free plan. Students also receive a 25 percent discount, which costs them $3.74 per month for the ad-supported plan and or $7.49 per month for the ad-free plan. Read on how for how to sign up for Paramount Plus’ seven-day free trial.

  1. Visit Paramount Plus’ website.
  2. Click “Get Started.”
  3. Click “Continue” and choose your plan
  4. Enter your information and payment method.
  5. Start watching the Kennedy Center Honors with Paramount Plus’ free trial.

Watch the Kennedy Centeer Honors With Amazon’s Paramount Plus Free Trial

If you’ve already used your Paramount Plus free trial, fans can also watch the Kennedy Center Honors online for free with Paramount Plus’ seven-day free trial on Amazon Prime Video. To score the free trial, users need to first sign up for Amazon Prime’s 30-day free trial, which comes with the same benefits of Amazon Prime, such as Prime Music and Prime Delivery (a.k.a. free two-day shipping, free same-day shipping, free release-date delivery and free no-rush shipping.) after the Paramount Plus free trial ends, users can choose to subscribe for $5.99 per month for its Limited Commercials ad-supported plan or $9.99 per month for its no-ads Premium plan  Read on for how to sign up for Paramount Plus’ free trial with Amazon Prime.

  1. Visit Amazon Prime Video’s Paramount Plus website
  2. Click “Start your free trials”
  3. Sign into your Amazon account
  4. Choose your Paramount Plus plan
  5. Start watching  the Kennedy Center Honors with Amazon’s Paramount Plus Free Trial

Watch Kennedy Center Honors With T-Mobile & Sprint’s Free Paramount Plus Subscription

If you’re a T-Mobile or Sprint customer (or know someone who is), both phone plans offer free Paramount Plus subscriptions with their postpaid wireless and home internet plans. The subscription lasts for 12 months and is for Paramount Plus’ ad-supported, Essential plan. The deal won’t last long, however, so it’s best to sign up now. Click here for T-Mobile and Sprint’s FAQ on how to sign up for a free Paramount Plus subscription.

Watch the Kennedy Center Honors With Sling’s $10 Deal

For those who want to watch the Kennedy Center Honors online live either online or on their TV, Sling is an excellent option. Though the service doesn’t have a free trial, Sling has a current deal that offers users one month for just $10. Sling offers two plans: Sling Blue and Sling Orange. (Sling Blue is more suited for news and entertainment, while Sling Orange is better for sports and family.) Both include the $10 first-month deal and cost $35 per month after the deal ends, if one chooses to subscribe. Both also offer 50 hours of DVR and local channels like CBS, which is where the Kennedy Center Honors air. If you had to choose one, though, we recommend Sling Blue. Not only does the plan include more channels, but it also allows the user to stream on three devices (Sling Orange allows only one), which means that you can split the cost with two other people, who can stream on their own devices. (That’s just $3.33 per person.)

Watch the Kennedy Center Honors With Fubo TV’s Free Trial

Another way to watch the Kenendy Center Honors for free is with Fubo TV’s free trial. The service offers a seven-day free trial, which is enough to stream all of the Kennedy Center Honors. Fubo offers more than 100 channels, including NBC to watch the Olympics, as well as at least 250 hours of DVR. The service costs $65 per month after your free trial ends.

Who are the Kennedy Center Honorees 2021?

The 44th annual Kennedy Center honorees are operatic bass-baritone Justino Díaz; Motown musician Berry Gordy; Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels; actress Bette Midler; and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter said in a statement, “This year’s Honorees represent the unifying power of the Arts and surely remind us of that which binds us together as human beings. These artists are equal parts genius, inspiration, and entertainment. After the challenges and heartbreak of the last many months, and as we celebrate 50 years of the Kennedy Center, I dare add that we are prepared to throw ‘the party to end all parties’ in D.C.”

In a separate statement, Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein explained why Díaz, Gordy, Michaels, Midler and Mitchell were chosen as honorees.“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates luminaries whose art and creativity have enriched us beyond measure,” he said.. “With his distinguished, deeply resonant voice and storied operatic career, Justino Díaz, stood on the stages of the world’s great opera houses and today stands as one of the greatest bass-baritones of our time; visionary music producer and songwriter Berry Gordy brought the quintessential soulfulness of Detroit into every home in America, elevating the Motown sound to become a national treasure.”

He continues, “Lorne Michaels created the most enduring ‘must-see television’ with Saturday Night Live, a show that is both mirror and muse for life in America; an artistic tour de force and America’s Divine Miss M, Bette Midler has enjoyed an unrivaled and prolific career, entertaining millions with her wondrous voice and trademark comedic wit; and songstress Joni Mitchell, blends raw, deeply personal lyrics with her stunningly ethereal voice in 19 albums, becoming one of the most influential singer-songwriters and cultural figures in 20th-century popular music.”

Where were the Kennedy Center Honors filmed?

The 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors were filmed on December 5, 2021, at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington D.C.

The Kennedy Center Honors are available to stream on Paramount Plus. Here’s how to watch them for free.

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