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'Lord of the Rings' director lands Modern Master Award

Santa Barbara, Calif. -- Peter Jackson, director of the award-winning "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, can add another prize to his collection.

The New Zealand native picked up the Modern Master Award -- along with a stuffed kiwi -- at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on Saturday.

Jackson's most recent film, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," won Golden Globes for best picture and director, and is nominated for 11 Oscars this year, including best picture, director and adapted screenplay.

Sean Astin, who plays the heroic hobbit Samwise Gamgee in the films, introduced Jackson to a sold-out audience at the Arlington Theatre.

Ray Charles a 'cultural treasure'

Los Angeles -- At 73, Grammy-winning singer Ray Charles is still humbled by the praise he has received throughout his career, especially from fellow artists.

Charles recently was presented with the President's Merit Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

"Music is my life, professionally, for nearly 60 years. To be recognized by the academy is still the highest honor," Charles said.

This month, Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn is expected to declare Charles the city's "cultural treasure" as part of African-American heritage month.

Charles, an original inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, won his first Grammy in 1960 for "Let the Good Times Roll." In 1987, he received the academy's award for lifetime achievement. In all, Charles has won 13 Grammys.

He had hip surgery late last year and plans to begin touring again in March.

Snoop won't face lawsuit over telephone message

Los Angeles -- A judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing rap star Snoop Dogg of including a message left on his answering machine in a song without permission.

The lawsuit was filed last March in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of a man who kept his name secret because of safety concerns.

The man claimed his one-minute message appeared in a song released as part of the 2002 album "Paid the Cost to be Tha Boss."

'You Got Served' hoofs it to No. 1 box office spot

Los Angeles -- Recently split teen R&B; band B2K put the moves on the box office as its dance flick "You Got Served" debuted at No. 1 with $16 million.

The other new wide releases debuted weakly over Super Bowl weekend.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters were:

2. "Along Came Polly," $10.1 million

3. "The Butterfly Effect," $9.95 million

4. "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," $5.3 million

5. "The Perfect Score," $5 million

6. "Big Fish," $4.6 million

7. "Cold Mountain," $4.53 million

8. "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!," $4.5 million

9. "Mystic River," $4.4 million

10. "Cheaper by the Dozen," $4.1 million

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