The ceremony was held on behalf of The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and celebrated 45 honorees for lifetime artistic achievements.
Those honoured on the evening included George Clooney, U2, contemporary Christian and pop singer-songwriter Amy Grant, musician Gladys Knight, and Cuban-born American composer, conductor, and educator Tania León.
On arrival, however, George’s focus was not on the event itself but on sorting out his wife’s dress, which had become tangled at the back just as she was posing for photographs.
As a result, the actor was photographed crouching down behind her and unfolding the train while Amal smiled.
The gown itself, a crimson scarlet fitted ensemble, was designed by Valentino and featured an off-shoulder neckline in addition to the train.
Amal paired the look with a matching clutch bag and diamond jewellery. George opted for a classic bow-tie tuxedo for the occasion.
“Whether saving humanity, masterminding a heist, or captaining a ship in dangerous seas, actor George Clooney’s unique brand of earnest charisma and his complete embodiment of a character has led us to root for him every time,” the John F Kennedy Center said in a statement.
“Multi-platinum singer-songwriter Amy Grant became the first artist to bring contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American culture, then equally thrived after crossing over into mainstream pop with hit after hit, and today is revered as the “Queen of Christian Pop”.
“In her 55-year music career, legendary singer and America’s beloved “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight went from the Pips of Georgia to Grammy®royalty, showcasing a boundless vocal range and soulfulness that has stood the test of time.”
The center also described U2 as “one of most influential rock bands of the modern rock era”, highlighting their “iconic anthems, potent lyrics, and powerful messages of social justice and global citizenship”.