Annie Leibovitz is one of America’s most famous portrait photographers. Her iconic pictures of celebrities first appeared in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair in the 1970s and by the 1990s were the subject of museum exhibitions worldwide.
During her massively influential career, Leibovitz has photographed John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Queen Elizabeth II, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Whoopi Goldberg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Meryl Streep, Mikhail Baryshnikov and a host of other stars.
In 1978, she photographed Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi at the height of their comedic powers. In a brilliantly conceived bit, Belushi and Aykroyd performed as the lead vocalist and harpist/vocalist, respectively, fronting The Blues Brothers Band, which was composed of renowned musicians. The band made its debut as the musical guest on the April 22, 1978, episode of Saturday Night Live. Elwood and “Joliet” Jake Blues were blood brothers outfitted in black suits, skinny ties, and Ray-Ban sunglasses. Aykroyd is Elwood, the laconic, harmonica-playing straight man; Belushi is Jake, the swaggering belter fresh out of the state prison in Joliet.
In 1980, a movie based on the act (The Blues Brothers) featuring musical greats James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, and John Lee Hooker, was a surprise hit. Leibovitz’s photograph of Aykroyd and Belushi in character – albeit with blue faces – sold at auction for $22,500 in December at Doyle New York.