Buddy Guy Receives Kennedy Center Honors

Legendary Chicago bluesman honored along with David Letterman, Led Zeppelin, Dustin Hoffman

Chicago's Buddy Guy isn't singing the blues about his latest accomplishment.

President Barack Obama presented the legendary blues singer with this year's Kennedy Center Honors Sunday night at the White House.

Guy was honored along with talk show host David Letterman, actor Dustin Hoffman, rockers Led Zeppelin and ballerina Natalia Makarova.

The honors are the nation's highest award for those who influenced American culture through the arts. The recipients were later saluted by fellow performers at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Obama drew laughs from his guests when he described the honorees as "some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together."

Noting that Guy made his first guitar strings using the wire from a window screen, he quipped, "That worked until his parents started wondering how all the mosquitoes were getting in."

Singers Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Chapman and others got most of the crowd on its feet singing Guy's signature "Sweet Home Chicago" during the program.

Morgan Freeman hailed Guy as a pioneer who helped bridge soul and rock and roll.

"When you hear the blues, you really don't think of it as black or white or yellow or purple or blue," Freeman said. "Buddy Guy, your blue brought us together."

Guy, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is one of the most influential guitarists of his generation. He was born in Louisiana in 1936, but moved to Chicago in 1958, recording for a time with the legendary Chess Records.

The show will be broadcast later this month.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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