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Gish Prize to Spike Lee

Spike Lee will receive the 20th annual Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which carries a reward of $300,000.

The Gish Prize Trust announced the selection Wednesday. Selection committee chairman Darren Walker said Lee was chosen “for his brilliance and unwavering courage in using film to challenge conventional thinking.”

Lee said in an interview that was well-acquainted with Lillian Gish as the actress of “The Birth of a Nation” and “The Night of the Hunter,” but he was unfamiliar with the prize that was established in Gish’s will.

The prize will be presented to Lee at the Museum of Modern Art on Oct. 30. Past honorees include Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller and Frank Gehry.

Cease and desist Madonna

A minor tempest over an access road built on Madonna’s Hamptons horse farm appears to have been settled.

Newsday reports that Suffolk County officials sent the entertainer a cease-and-desist letter. It said her 24-acre Bridgehampton property was improperly being used as a cut-through for construction vehicles to get to her adjacent land.

The county prohibits any “driveway, roadway, path or thoroughfare” on land belonging to its farmland preservation program. The only exception is for agricultural uses.

An attorney for Madonna’s for Wild Horses Farms LLC, Edward Burke Sr., called it “an unfortunate mistake.”

It has since been removed.

He says the unpaved road in question was always temporary. He adds that “there was no harm done.”

‘Epic’ experience ahead

Imagine Dragons’ Wayne “Wing” Sermon remembered hearing all the childhood stories drummer Daniel Platzman used to tell about Music Midtown Festival.

Sermon, the guitarist of the four-man rock group, says Platzman called the festival an “epic” experience. The group is among 22 acts that will perform at the two-day festival, which kicks off in Piedmont Park in downtown Atlanta on Friday.

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Kendrick Lamar, Journey, 2 Chainz and Weezer are some of the top acts at the festival, which drew more than 90,000 people last year. This year’s performances will take place on three different stages.

Underwood sings for the ’60s

Emmy organizers say Carrie Underwood will perform at the awards ceremony as part of a tribute to television’s role in significant 1960s events.

The TV academy says Don Cheadle will host the segment at Sunday’s awards about TV’s coverage of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

That will be followed by a salute to the Beatles’ performance on Ed Sullivan’s variety show in February 1964, concluding with Underwood’s performance of ’60s era music.

Emmys executive producer Ken Ehrlich says the segment recognizes a time that represented TV’s “finest hour.”

The Emmy Awards will air at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday on CBS with Neil Patrick Harris as host.