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Buddy Guy, Chicago blues legend, to get Kennedy Center Honor

October 3, 2012 3:34:39 PM PDT
Chicago's legendary bluesman Buddy Guy will receive the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, which is presented to people who contribute to the culture of the United States.

The 77-year-old musician says the honor goes to those who came before him, like late blues master Muddy Waters.

"Whenever I get an award or something special like this, I look up and say, 'Guys, I got it but it's yours,'" Buddy Guy said. "Because without them I don't know if I'd be talking to you. Because I learned everything I know from them. I didn't learn nothing from the book."

Buddy Guy arrived in Chicago 55 years ago from Louisiana. He was just 21-years old, and a sharecropper's son. He says it's been a long road from picking cotton to singing at the White House and now the Kennedy Center Honor.

"When I picked up the guitar and learning how to play it was for the love of music-- not the love of money or the love of awards," Buddy Guy said.

But the awards just keep coming. In December he will stand with previous superstar winners alongside the president of the United States. The first Kennedy Center Honor was awarded in 1978. The list of previous winners includes Yo-Yo Ma, Meryl Streep, Oprah, Paul McCartney, and Morgan Freeman.

"Wow. That's good company," Buddy Guy said.

Buddy Guy still performs. He has a show in January at his Legends Club, located at 7th and Wabash.


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