AXS TV to Honor ‘Legends’: Prince, Bowie, King

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BB King Gibson Lucille

B.B. King with Lucille

Upcoming TV programming of note will feature numerous classic rock greats. On Tuesday, June 7, an hour-long special commemorating the passing of several music icons will premiere on AXS TV. The all-new The Big Interview-Special Edition: Legends Lost will be hosted by Dan Rather and air at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.

Segments will feature tributes to five iconic and influential artists we have lost recently: the genre-defying Prince; glam rock pioneer David Bowie; country music legend Merle Haggard; R&B royalty Natalie Cole; and blues genius B.B. King.

The Big Interview-Special Edition: Legends Lost will give viewers a deeply personal look at these artists’ lives using archived footage and exclusive interviews, as well as their friends, family, and collaborators coming together to honor their memory and discuss their careers’ most pivotal moments.

Highlights from the evening include a chat with Bowie’s childhood friend, painter George Underwood, who designed the Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars album covers. Underwood shares the story of his lasting impact on the artist, when a fight between the two left the singer with his unique eyes—something Bowie would ultimately come to thank him for. “I overheard David bragging about how he was going out with this girl [I was going out with]. Complete fabrication, of course. That wasn’t really my style at all, but I think I had to prove something,” says Underwood. “I walked over to David, and I basically took him by the shoulder and just hit him. I didn’t mean to hurt him. It didn’t actually change the color of his eye, what happened was his pupil wouldn’t dilate in and out anymore.”

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Long-time B.B. King drummer T.C. Coleman opens up in the sneak peek video below about the fateful events that forged a lifelong bond between King and his Gibson guitar, Lucille, after narrowly escaping a deadly fire at a juke joint one night.

Also included is a rare appearance by André Cymone, one of Prince’s best friends and original bassist, who sheds light on a side of the musical innovator’s personal life that many people never saw and reminisces about working with him on his debut album and tour. Rather’s final interview with Merle Haggard will be aired and followed by an emotional performance of Haggard’s hit “Sing Me Back Home.”

Acclaimed producer David Foster will join Rather to discuss the genesis of Cole’s 1991 album Unforgettable… With Love, a collection of standards made famous by her late father, Nat King Cole.

Also debuting this summer is Hello World!, a six-part series on The Discovery Channel in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The voices of musicians Joan Jett, Steven Tyler and Dave Matthews will be featured along with Ellie Goulding, Usher and others. The series uses the artists’ music to create a themed soundtrack to the stories of animals in the wild. Hello World! premieres July 9.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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