12/27/2012 12:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Buddy Guy Kennedy Center Honors: Bonnie Raitt Heralds Blues Legend With 'Sweet Home Chicago' (VIDEO)

Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy was honored in prime time Wednesday as the Dec. 2 Kennedy Center Honors gala, held in the White House's East Room, was broadcast on CBS.

The influential guitarist and Chicago bluesman received the prestigious national award for his lifetime contribution to the arts. The award is the nation's highest honor bestowed on those who have influenced American culture through the arts. Other honorees this year included David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, Led Zeppelin and Natalia Makarova.

During the program, country singer Bonnie Raitt, guitarist Jeff Beck and singer Beth Hart heralded Guy -- whom Raitt described as "the preeminent elder statesman of the Blues" -- with a rendition of "Sweet Home Chicago." (Embedded below.) The Rob Mathes Band also honored Guy with a performance of "Every Day I Have the Blues," according to CBS News.

2012 Kennedy Center Honors

During the ceremony, actor Morgan Freeman offered a special salute to Guy: "You found a new music that no one'd ever heard before. You made a bridge from roots to rock n' roll."

Guy, 76, still performs at his South Loop club, Buddy Guy's Legends, whenever he's back in Chicago.

WATCH: Raitt sings "Sweet Home Chicago:"