(Updated August 19) Sir Paul has sent a message of regret and apology to the Kennedy Center saying that an inescapable personal obligation (the wedding of his niece) will prevent him from traveling to Washington, D.C. the weekend of December 7 to accept his Kennedy honors. (see July 30) It is the first time in the 25-year history of the award that an artist has turned down an invitation to the event. In a statement issued today, Kennedy Center chairman James A. Johnson said, "The Kennedy Center understands and respects Sir Paul's sense of priority that places an inescapable personal obligation ahead of other commitments." and added that Sir Paul will be honored next year at the 2003 ceremony. Geofge Stevens Jr., co-producer of the honors program added, "We felt that under the circumstances, it made perfect sense to honor his request. We are happy that he will be able to be honored next year."
In place of Sir Paul, Paul Simon will be honored this year for his work as a singer and composer.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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