B.B. King
Credit: B.B. King: Lisa Poole/AP

Happy Birthday to B.B. King (left), who celebrates his 80th birthday today with a new album release (called 80, it features such duet partners as Elton John, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, Bobby ”Blue” Bland, and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons), a new coffee-table book (The B.B. King Treasures), and tour plans.

Also celebrating a birthday today is Lauren Bacall, 81, who has made seven movies in the last three years (according to IMDb) and still has time to dis Tom Cruise. And they’re not the only octogenarian legends who seem as busy as ever. There’s also Kurt Vonnegut, 82, who’s ubiquitous on TV these days (Real Time with Bill Maher, The Daily Show), and who has a new bestseller out, a nonfiction collection A Man Without a Country.

Then there’s 80-year-old director Robert Altman, who just finished shooting a movie inspired by Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, and who’s about to make his London stage debut directing an Arthur Miller play for Kevin Spacey’s Old Vic Theatre. Kudos to you all; I hope I have that much drive and energy when I’m 80. Heck, I’d like that much drive and energy now.

addCredit(“B.B. King: Lisa Poole/AP”)