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October 27, 2008

B.B. King rocks


From the looks of it, the thrill is not gone. Far from it.

Check out the pure joy that lights up the face of music legend B.B. King during a performance with U2's Bono and Edge last night at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. He was there, among various A-list Hollywood royalty, to pick up the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Founder's Award. Other performers included Robert Cray, Cassandra Wilson, Keb 'Mo, Lee Ritenour, Herbie Hancock and Poncho Sanchez.

After all these years of playing and all the praise that's brought to King -- 14 Grammys, induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the National Medal of Arts -- it all comes down to this. A man and his guitar. And, unlike some of his most famous blues ballads, a love story with no unhappy ending.



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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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