His former WHAM! bandmates gave a beautiful introduction to a musical tribute from Coldplay's Chris Martin.
Sting will be among this year's recipients of the Kennedy Centre Honors.
The singer will be honoured alongside actor Tom Hanks and legendary soul singer Al Green for "their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts".
This year's ceremony will be attended by US president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama at the Kennedy Centre Opera House on December 7.
Kennedy Centre chairman David M Rubenstein announced this year's recipients: "The Kennedy Centre celebrates five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world.
"Al Green's iconic voice stirs our souls in a style that is all his own. Tom Hanks has a versatility that ranks him among the greatest actors of any generation. Sting's unique voice and memorable songwriting have entertained audiences for decades.”
CBS airs the 37th annual Kennedy Centre Honors on December 30 at 9pm ET.
The cultural achievement awards were first given away in 1978 to Hollywood icon Fred Astaire, singer Marian Anderson, choreographer George Balanchine, composer Richard Rodgers and pianist Arthur Rubinstein.
Last year's recipients included singer Billy Joel , actress Shirley MacLaine and guitarist Carlos Santana.
Watch Al Green sing 'Let's Stay Together' below: