In a broadcast of the pre-taped 35th annual Kennedy Center Honors, Robert Plant appeared to be overwhelmed with emotion when Heart paid tribute to his band Led Zeppelin. The English singer got teary when "Stairway to Heaven" was played at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Another classic "Whole Lotta Love" was delivered by Lenny Kravitz.
"The jams of Led Zeppelin are second to none," presenter Jack Black gushed. "Just ask anyone, from Oliver Stone to Paul Ryan and everyone in between! They sang songs about love, about Vikings, about Vikings making love. You know, they say Led Zeppelin sold their souls to Satan. Come on, guys, you know you did. There's no other way to explain your ungodly talents!"
Along with the two other surviving members of the rock band John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, Plant got a medallion from President Barack Obama for his contribution in influencing American culture through art. The other guests of honor were "Late Night" host David Letterman, actor Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy and famed ballerina Natalia Makarova.
Laughters broke out when Obama called the honorees "some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together." He said, "We've got Buddy Guy sitting next to Dustin Hoffman. We've got Dave Letterman alongside one of the greatest ballerinas of all time. I don't think Dave dances." He jokingly added that he found "no smooth transition from ballet to Led Zeppelin."
The commander-in-chief jokingly thanked the rockers for behaving themselves at the White House given that they often left "hotel rooms trashed and mayhem all around" in the past. The president quipped, "It's fitting that we're doing this in a room with windows that are about three inches thick and Secret Service all around." On a serious note, he praised the band for defining "the rock-and-roll lifestyle."