I hate to come off like Mrs. Grover Cleveland here, but some of the Kennedy honorees of the past few years make me wonder whether there shouldn't be at least a degree of attention paid to the private, extra-artistic lives led by some of the recipients. In other words, whatever happened to standards and personal accountability?
Previous winner Chuck Berry, a personal favorite of mine otherwise, has been arrested and charged for crimes against other human beings, some of which are so foul that I wouldn't want to sully the fragrant blogophere air by invoking them here. The late James Brown (is he buried yet?) also was not exactly a good burgher. And, in my opinion. Smokey Robinson simply isn't all he's cracked up to be. But that's another issue entirely.
Next to these characters it seems to me that even Ms. Diana Ross, one of this year's honorees announced yesterday (her insane contractual riders and recent detox escapades aside) is a veritable artistic giant and model citizen by comparison. Her last year's "I Love You" CD was her best post-Supremes work IMHO. In other words, I don't have a problem with Ross being accorded Kennedy honors, nor with any of the others singled out this year. Along with Diana Ross, a couple of the other honorees have their fair share of personal problems. But nothing that even comes close to the outwardly-directed evil agression of the likes of Berry and Brown. The next thing you know they'll be giving the Nobel Prize to Berry for his pioneering work in the area of the P** Cam.
Congratulations to Brian Wilson, Leon Fleischer, Diana Ross, Martin Scorsese and Steve Martin. Good "fellows" all!