2019 Kennedy Center Honorees Michael Tilson Thomas, Linda Ronstadt, Sally Field, Joan Ganz Cooney, and Lloyd Morrisett, back row from left, Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, and characters from “Sesame Street,” Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and Elmo.
“Sesame Street” is set to be feted Sunday night at the Kennedy Center Honors — following the death of the man who first gave voice to the show’s beloved character Big Bird.
The giant bright-yellow bird was unmissable in the back row of a photo, taken Saturday night at a pre-awards dinner, of all the 2019 recipients of the lifetime achievements in the arts awards.
His “Sesame Street” pals Abby Cadabby and Elmo were perched on each of his shoulders as they sat proudly alongside fellow honorees including actress Sally Field, singer Linda Ronstadt, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and R&B veterans Earth, Wind and Fire.
The awards, set to take place Sunday, follow news of the death of Caroll Spinney, who voiced Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for nearly 50 years before retiring last year. Big Bird is now performed by Matt Vogel.
Spinney, 85, died Sunday at his home in Connecticut after suffering for “some time” from dystonia, a neurological movement disorder, the show said, calling him an “artistic genius.”
“Sesame Street” co-founders Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett are expected to accept the award at Sunday’s event, which will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 15.
With Post wires