The stars have aligned for the National Portrait Gallery’s gala this fall: Michelle Obama (whose portrait broke visitor records at the gallery) will be on hand to honor “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda; “Late Late Show” host James Corden will pay tribute to Vogue editor Anna Wintour; Clive Davis will present an award to the members of Earth, Wind & Fire, and CBS journalist Gayle King will serve as emcee.
Like the Kennedy Center Honors, the gallery’s gala has turned into a red-carpet affair with high-profile honorees and equally illustrious names presenting their awards. “We have a unique setup: Each of the honorees is allowed to choose their own presenter,” explained gala co-chair Randi Charno Levine. So Miranda asked the former first lady, Earth, Wind & Fire choose famed music executive Davis, and Wintour skipped over her friends from the fashion world and went with Corden, a close friend. (Who knew?) “I think it’s a fabulous choice on Anna’s part, because he brings humor and fun.”
The list rounds out with Preston Bezos paying tribute to dad Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder and owner of The Washington Post), astrophysicist France Córdova honoring Nobel laureate Frances Arnold and Alberto Ibargüen lauding business pioneer Indra Nooyi. A painting or photo portrait of each awardee will be unveiled for the gala weekend and then become part of the gallery’s permanent collection.
It’s a busy time for Earth, Wind & Fire: They’re performing at the Nov. 17 fundraiser and then return to Washington three weeks later to attend — you guessed it — the Kennedy Center Honors.