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Published: 2012/12/03

Led Zeppelin: DC Celebrity Honors, Still No Reunion

Led Zeppelin were celebrated at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, DC last night. Surviving Led Zeppelin co-founders Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page attended the ceremony—and sat side-by-side—but did not take the stage to perform. Instead, a parade of celebrities including Foo Fighters, Jack Black, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Heart participated in an all-star tribute to the band. The evening also honored Buddy Guy, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman and ballerina Natalia Makarova.

The Led Zeppelin segment, which closed the award ceremony, featured an eclectic mix of bands: Jack Black spoke about the band’s influence, Kid Rock belted out “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and “Ramble On,” Lenny Kravitz performed “Whole Lotta Love,” and Jason Bonham joined Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson and the Joyce Garrett Youth Choir for a set-closing “Stairway to Heaven.” Despite being on hiatus, the members of Foo Fighters also came together for a version of “Rock and Roll.” Bonham—the son of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham—subbed for his late father during the band’s 2007 reunion while Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl plays with John Paul Jones in Them Crooked Vultures.

Several notable musicians also took the stage during Buddy Guy’s tribute segment. Gary Clark Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan shared the stage during a cross-generational jam based around “The Things That I Used to Do,” and Tracy Chapman offered a more delicate reading of “Hound Dog.” Jeff Beck spoke at length about Guy’s influence and joined Beth Hart for “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and Bonnie Raitt took on “My Time After Awhile.” All Guy’s supporters then emerged for “Sweet Home Chicago.”

All of this year’s honorees met with President Obama at the White House before the gala event, where they received rainbow-colored stashes. President Obama also attended the Kennedy Center event and watched the evening’s varied tributes. CBS will air on the event on December 26.

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