Today it was announced that the John F. Kennedy Center Honors for the year 2003 would be bestowed on comedian Carol Burnett, "Godfather of Soul" James Brown, country singer Loretta Lynn, film director Mike Nichols and violinist Itzhak Perlman. What about Sir Paul? You may recall that last year Sir Paul became the first artist in history to decline the invitation because of "a personal scheduling conflict." (See August 16, 2002 ) It was said at the time that Sir Paul would instead receive the honor in 2003, however, according to George Stevens Jr., co-producer of the annual awards telecast, Sir Paul's name "did not emerge" from the selection meeting of the Kennedy Center's board of trustees. Mr. Stevens could not explain why Sir Paul's name wasn't on the list. All he could say was, "Each year the trustees start fresh, and this is what they chose." Mr. Stevens added that he was unaware of any communication on the subject between Sir Paul and representatives of the honors and could not elaborate on the development. He did note that he knew that Sir Paul did not decline the award a second time. Representatives of the Kennedy Center declined comment.
The honors will be presented on December 7 at a gala performance to be held in the Kennedy Center's Opera House. Numerous artists and dignitaries will be in attendance, including President and Mrs. Bush. The gala will be televised on CBS later in December.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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