Watch: Eagles at 2016 Kennedy Center Honors

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The Kennedy Center has released a clip from the 2016 Honorees event at the 39th annual national celebration of the arts. In it, Eagles members Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmit talk about the absence of Glenn Frey. The event will be broadcast Tues., Dec. 27 as a two-hour prime time special on CBS.

The award, considered one of the highest compliments an artist can receive in the U.S., was especially bittersweet for the Eagles, as the group was initially supposed to receive theirs a year ago. At that time founding member Glenn Frey was ill so the band opted not to accept it at that time. Frey died on Jan. 18.

“You know Glenn was really looking forward to this,” Henley said. “He was missed.” Schmit added: “I think he would have liked that we carried on and did this this year and possibly a bit of healing for his family.”

Bob Seger singing “Heartache Tonight”

Bob Seger sang the classic rock band’s “Heartache Tonight.” Seger and Frey were longtime friends, sharing Detroit roots.

Related: The decision to exclude former Eagles Don Felder, Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon has been highly controversial

Besides the Eagles, the recipients to be honored at the event were: singer-songwriter James Taylor, actor Al Pacino, gospel and blues singer Mavis Staples, and Argentine pianist Martha Argerich.

Among the Center’s 200 recipients since they were started in 1978 are such rock and pop music legends as Led ZeppelinStingBilly JoelPaul McCartneyBruce SpringsteenThe Who, and many more. For years, it was strictly a highbrow affair with Honorees like Fred Astaire, Leonard Bernstein, and so on. It wasn’t until 1994 when a more contemporary music icon, Aretha Franklin, was first selected. Since then, the committee has chosen performers from the classic rock era virtually every year.

And more Eagles…

Taylor’s music was sung by Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker and Sheryl Crow.

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