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Britain honors Gandalf, pop princess, Jethro Tull flutist in New Year's list

Britain honors Gandalf, pop princess, Jethro Tull flutist in New Year's list

Sir Ian McKellen _ Gandalf to you "Lord of the Rings" fans _ rose further in status Saturday as he joined the elite circle of Britain's Companions of Honor.
Australian pop diva Kylie Minogue rivaled McKellen for attention in Britain as she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, in Queen Elizabeth II's New Year's Honors list.
Ian Anderson, the flute player who fronted the rock band Jethro Tull, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, and Trevor Romeo, alias Jazzie B of Soul II Soul, got an OBE.
Stan Tracey, who has been called "the godfather of British jazz," was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE.
Richard Griffiths, whose film career extends from Uncle Monty in "Withnail & I" to Uncle Vernon in the "Harry Potter" series, got an OBE.
The list included a knighthood for veteran talk show host Michael Parkinson, 72. Best-selling children's author Jacqueline Wilson, 62 _ creator of the Tracy Beaker series _ was made a dame, the female equivalent of a knight.
Writer Hanif Kureishi, author of "My Beautiful Laundrette" and "The Buddha of Suburbia," was awarded a CBE.
Companion of Honor is the top of the heap in the British system, limited to 65 living people. It adds to a sack of honors collected by McKellen, whose recent work has ranged from "King Lear" to the TV soap opera "Coronation Street."
McKellen, 68, earned a Tony Award for "Amadeus" on Broadway; Olivier awards for "Pillars of the Community," "Bent," "Wild Honey" and "Richard III;" a Screen Actors Guild award for "The Fellowship of the Ring" and a Golden Globe for "Rasputin."
He was nominated for a best-actor Academy Award in 1998 for his portrayal of director James Whale in "Gods and Monsters," and for supporting actor in 2001 for Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring."
He was knighted in 1991 after being made CBE in 1979.
Minogue got her showbiz break as tomboy mechanic Charlene in the Australian soap opera "Neighbors." In 1987, she had her first No. 1 single with "I Should be so Lucky."
She took a break in her career after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005.
"I feel deeply touched to be acknowledged by the U.K., my adopted home, in this way," Minogue said in Australia.
"This last year I have felt so much love and support from everyone as I took greater steps back into the public domain, and it is with absolute gratitude and joy that I say farewell to 2007 and look forward to what the New Year will bring."
Anderson continues to tour with Jethro Tull, four decades after his band adopted the name of the inventor of the seed drill in 1701.
The group's Web site now lists a dozen musicians, including longtime guitarist Martin Barre and several players who were not born when Jethro Tull scored its early hits.
Jazzie B, singer, songwriter, arranger, and the self-styled inventor of the "Funki Dred" style, was born in London to immigrants from Antigua. He formed Soul II Soul in 1982, and the group had a global hit with its 1989 album, "Keep on Movin.'" The album spawned two Top 10 singles and won Grammys for best rhythm and blues vocal duo and best R&B instrumental.
Tracey, still performing with his big band at age 80, got his start playing accordion to entertain workers during World War II.
Griffiths, 60, won an Olivier award for playing the teacher Hector in Alan Bennett's play "The History Boys," and a Tony for the same role on Broadway.
His film credits include "Chariots of Fire," "The French Lieutenant's Woman," "GoldenEye," "Gandhi" and "The Naked Gun 2 1/2."
In descending order, the main honors are knighthoods, CBE, OBE and MBE. Knights are addressed as "sir" or "dame," while recipients of CBEs, OBEs and MBEs have no title but can put the letters after their names.
The honors are bestowed by the queen, but recipients are selected by committees of civil servants from nominations made by the government and the public.
The bulk of the honors reward achievements by people out of the limelight, especially civil servants and those with long service to their communities. This year's recipients include a Scottish bus driver and a Salvation Army worker who sheltered children during this summer's floods in England.


Updated : 2021-05-16 15:19 GMT+08:00