Tag Archives: Kennedy Center Honors

Person: Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby has excelled in so many segments of the entertainment industry. Stand-up comedian, actor, author - and citizen. Uploaded by images.google.com.

Which Bill Cosby do you like best? Maybe the stand-up comedian, who broke ground with memories of his childhood – Rudy, Mushmouth, Russell and Fat Albert (“Hey, hey, hey!”). And who put the story of Noah into a perspective it hadn’t been told before (“Riiight…what’s a cubit?”).

Maybe you like Bill the serious actor, from his stint as the first African-American to co-star in a dramatic series (I Spy), movies (Let’s Do It Again, Uptown Saturday Night, Mother, Jugs and Speed),  situation comedies (The Bill Cosby Show and, of course, The Cosby ShowGreat American Things, June 20, 2009) .

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Or perhaps it’s Bill Cosby the outspoken citizen, who has urged the black community to pay less attention to sports and rap music, and more to raising strong families and focusing on education.

Cosby is beloved by Americans of all ages and races, as his honors reveal. Professionally, he’s won three Emmys and nine Grammys. He’s received honorary doctorates from major universities. And he’s been awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002) and Kennedy Center Honors (1998).

All this, and we haven’t even talked about Jell-O…

Singer: Loretta Lynn

 

She's had 11 number one hits, every major award a country singer can win, and a place in the Country Music and Grammy Awards halls of fame. Not bad for a coal miner's daughter. Uploaded by billboard.com.

Imagine growing up in a place called Butcher Holler, being married at age 13, having four children by the age of 19, and then deciding to pursue a music career. That’s an unusual background for success, but it gave Loretta Lynn, the coal miner’s daughter, an authenticity and an ambition that being born to money could never have provided.

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Lynn looked to Patsy Cline (Great American Things, November 16, 2009) as a mentor, and indeed named one of her children Patsy in the legend’s honor. Ironically, Lynn assumed Cline’s place as the leading lady of country music after Cline’s untimely death. Most of Lynn’s early successes were honky-tonk songs, and she had a string of hits in the 60s. In her career, she’s had 47 songs make the top 20 on the Country chart, with an amazing 11 make it all the way to number 1. She also had a dozen top 10 duets with Conway Twitty, the first five of which were also number one hits.

She’s won so many awards it’s not possible to list them here. Among the  highlights: CMA Vocalist of the Year (3x), CMA Entertainer of the Year (1972), Academy of Country Music Awards Top Female Vocalist (4x) and its Entertainer of the Year (1975), the Grammy Awards Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, CMT’s 40 Greatest Women of Country Music (no. 3), and Kennedy Center Honors (2003).