A few of the best rock star appearances on Sesame Street

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B. B. King

B.B. King’s most recent appearance on Sesame Street was in 2001, where he sang a song praising the letter B with Big Bird, Bert, Benny Rabbit, Baby Bear, and two muppets with beards (see what they did there). That appearance was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series, but lost to Levar Burton’s Reading Rainbow.

But that was actually the culmination of a long relationship with the show going back to the first season. The master bluesman's first appearance on Sesame Street was in 1969, a simple segment where he sang the “Alphabet Song." He also wrote a blurb for the Sesame Street album The Year Of Roosevelt Franklin. Franklin was, of course, the muppet who was coded as African American, but wasn’t seen much after 1975, because of concerns that he was too stereotypical. But in the blurb, he wrote, “I wish albums like this would have been available when I was a kid in Mississippi.”

King also appeared on Shalom Sesame, the Hebrew/Arabic Sesame Street spin-off, where he learned that the Hebrew word for the “blues” was… the “blues.” It would seem that B.B. King was a true believer in the Sesame Street mission of education for all children.