Garth Brooks, Joan Baez among this year's Kennedy Center honorees
© Getty Images

Country music star Garth Brooks, TV icon Dick Van Dyke and songwriter Joan Baez are among this year's recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, who will be recognized with "re-envisioned virtual tributes" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Choreographer Debbie Allen and violinist Midori will also be honored at the 43rd annual ceremony for the Kennedy Center's most prestigious award, the Washington, D.C., performing arts institution announced Wednesday.

The awards ceremony, typically held in December, had been postponed until May because of COVID-19.

ADVERTISEMENT

Instead of the packed, single ceremony typically held in the Opera House, the Kennedy Center said it will utilize its "entire campus" with "small, in-person events" that will include performances and speaking tributes before physically distant audiences.

Virtual events for the 2020 honorees will also be held throughout the week beginning May 17, the Kennedy Center said, and "the viability of additional in-person events will be considered as COVID-19 safety protocols evolve over the upcoming months."

In recent years, the typically nonpartisan event had become a political lightning rod after some of the recipients said they would boycott a White House reception in protest of President TrumpDonald TrumpNYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG Arizona GOP censures top state Republicans McCain, Flake and Ducey Biden and UK prime minister discuss NATO, multilateralism during call MORE. The 45th president bucked tradition and never attended the function while in office, saying in 2017 that he and Melania TrumpMelania TrumpScorned and mistreated, Melania Trump deserved much better from the media The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' K Street navigates virtual inauguration week MORE were skipping it to avoid "political distraction."

This year's gala will air on CBS on June 6.