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Buddy Guy selected as Kennedy Center honoree

The Kennedy Center nominations were announced Wednesday Chicago blues master Buddy Guy is receive honor December.

The Kennedy Center nominations were announced Wednesday and Chicago blues master Buddy Guy is to receive the honor in December.

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Updated: September 12, 2012 1:46PM

The life of Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy will be recognized on the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in December.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced the selection of the indidviduals to receive the prestigious recognition. In addition to Guy, those honored will be actor Dustin Hoffman, comedian and television host David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova and rock band Led Zeppelin. While Led Zeppelin is being honored as a band, keyboardist/bassist John Paul Jones, guitarist Jimmy Page, and singer Robert Plant will each receive the Kennedy Center Honors.

There’s a whole lotta love for a Guy-Zeppelin jam.

“I am a simple man blessed to be able to make a living at what I love, and I am a fortunate man to have learned from the best — from men like Muddy Waters — who made me promise to keep the Blues alive,” Guy wrote in a statement. “I cannot begin to describe my feelings of deep gratitude to be receiving the Kennedy Center Honor. I am even more humbled because this award was beyond my wildest dreams in 1957 when I left home, and my mother and father, to pluck my guitar promising to return to them one day with a polka dot Cadillac. This Louisiana, and now Chicago, man respectfully thanks the Kennedy Center for such high praise and especially for recognizing and helping to keep the Blues alive today.”

Chicagoans can wish Guy congratulations on Saturday when he headlines a sold-out show with Jonny Lang at the Chicago Theatre. Guy, 76, migrated to Chicago in the fall of 1957 from rural Louisiana. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

“Buddy Guy is a titan of the blues and has been a tremendous influence on virtually everyone who has picked up an electric guitar in the last half century,” Kennedy Center Chair David M. Rubenstein said on Wednesday.

The honors will be broadcast on WBBM-Channel 2 at 8 p.m. Dec. 26 from the Kennedy Center Opera House Stage in Washington, D.C. Recipents are recognized for their lifetime contributions of excellence to American culture through the performing arts — whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures or television — and are selected by the Center’sboard of trustees.

President and Mrs. Obama will host the honorees, members of the Artists Committee who nominate them and the board of trustees at the White House prior to the gala performance taping.

Last year’s honorees were singer Barbara Cook, singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist-composer Sonny Rollins and actress Meryl Streep.

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