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Paul McCartney, Jerry Herman and Oprah Winfrey (?) are among the 2010 Kennedy Center Honorees

It’s no surprise to see that Paul McCartney has been selected to receive the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors. A few years back, he was to be honored but had to turn down the opportunity because of an important family event so organizers honored Paul Simon instead!

Well, now Paul is back and apparently to show up!

This is one legendary performer and the honor is well-deserved. His history as one of The Beatles is one thing but the fact that he also sang lead on so many of the biggest hits and co-wrote them with John Lennon only adds to his legend.

Then there has been the post-Beatles career which has thrived for the last 40 years first with his band Wings then as a solo artist.

As a huge Broadway fan, I’m thrilled to see the inclusion of composer Jerry Herman as one of the five honorees. The man who won Tony Awards for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles made his Broadway debut in 1960. His other major hit was Mame which won Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur Tonys.  Herman is one of only two composers/lyricists in history to have three musicals run more than 1500 consecutive performances on Broadway.

Rounding out the five 2010 honorees are choreographer Bill T. Jones, singer Merle Haggard and … wait for it … Oprah Winfrey!

C’mon! Oprah? The woman who has everything, including her own network! – is only 56 years old! This honor is for accomplishments in the arts and entertainment and there are so many people – a lot of less-sung heroes – who could have been included instead of Miss Winfrey.

It seems premature to me although I know Oprah has accomplished so much in television, been nominated for an Oscar, produced a Broadway show and movies. It just kind of feels like when President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s a feeling of, “Really?”

Anyway, the ceremony will take place Dec. 5 at the Kennedy Center and CBS will air the two-hour special on Dec. 28. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be on hand to present the medallions to this year’s winners.



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