Topic: B.B. King given Medal Of Freedom at White House Ceremony
Legendary blues musician B.B. King, former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky and historian David McCullough were among those awarded the Medal of Freedom on Friday by President George W. Bush.
Bush lauded King for overcoming his hardscrabble childhood in the South to become one of the world's greatest blues guitarists and singers. King was living alone by the time he was 9 and picked cotton for 35 cents a day, Bush recalled.
"It has been said that when John Lennon was asked to name his great ambition, he said, 'to play the guitar like B.B. King,"' Bush said. "Many musicians have had that same goal but nobody has ever been able to match the skill, or copy the sound of The King of the Blues."
The Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian award.