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Yoakam Receives Honorary Degree in Ohio

VIENNA, W.Va. (AP) _ Country music singer and actor Dwight Yoakam wore cowboy boots with his cap and gown when he got an honorary doctorate from Ohio Valley College.

Yoakam was invited to give the commencement address Saturday by the Rev. Keith Stotts, chancellor and former president of Ohio Valley College. Stotts baptized Yoakam when he was a boy attending the Cleveland Avenue (now Northland) Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio.

Yoakam joked his way through most of his speech. ``The future will be the past catching up to you,'' he said. ``Avoid it. If you can't avoid it, deny, deny, deny.''

Afterward he spoke with each graduate and gave them autographed pictures.

Vienna Mayor David Nohe gave Yoakam the key to the city.

``I'll use it wisely,'' Yoakam told the mayor who declared Saturday ``Dwight Yoakam Day.''

Yoakam has received 21 Grammy Award nominations and won the award twice. He has sold more then 23 million albums and acted in several films.
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