Thomas Rhett has played some pretty remarkable shows in his life, but there’s a possibility that none will impress his young daughters as much as his participation in the Kennedy Center honors this year where Thomas helped celebrate the television show Sesame Street.
Singing the song he recorded for the long-running hit children’s series, “This Is My Street,” Thomas was joined by formally-attired Sesame Street characters Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, Ernie and Burt. As the song transitioned into “Sing,” the puppeteers behind those lovable muppets appeared from behind their props in a rare public appearance.
Spotted in the audience were previous Kennedy Center honoree, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson who were gleefully singing along, and Carrie Underwood and Trisha Yearwood who also performed during the evening to honor the legendary Linda Ronstadt.
The celebration of Sesame Street was an especially poignant moment in the show. The actual day of the gala, December 8, coincides with the day that Caroll Spinney, the figure who gave Big Bird his larger-than-life personality, passed away at the age of 85. Spinney had hung up his yellow feathers in 2018.
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Although closely affiliated with Jim Henson, the brilliant mind behind the Muppets, the Kennedy Center honor was presented to Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett who are the actual creators of Sesame Street. The series began in 1969 on PBS, but has more recently began airing on HBO.