The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and Bee Gees founder member Barry Gibb have been awarded knighthoods in the Queen’s New Year honors.
Starr’s knighthood comes more than half a century after he received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) at the height of the Fab Four’s fame. His former bandmate and the only other surviving Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney received the same accolade in 1997.
In a statement, Starr said it was “an honor and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love. Ringo.”
Starr’s more recent solo album, Give More Love (featuring a guest appearance by McCartney) was released earlier this year. Having recently completed a tour of the U.S., the drummer’s All Starr Band embarks on a 21-date tour of Europe and Israel in June.
Barry Gibb, who is recognized for his services to music and charity, told the Press Association that being awarded a knighthood was “a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten.”
“I am deeply honored, humbled and very proud,” the 71-year-old went on to say, paying tribute to his brothers and Bee Gees co-founders, Maurice and Robin, who died in 2003 and 2012, respectively.
“I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honour,” said Gibb. “It is as much theirs as it is mine. The magic, the glow and the rush will last me the rest of my life.”
Also among those featured in the New Years honors list, which recognizes British citizens for their achievements in public life and service to the United Kingdom, is Soft Cell vocalist Marc Almond, who receives an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to arts and culture.
The 60-year-old singer, whose hits include Soft Cell’s cover of “Tainted Love” and a duet of “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart” with Gene Pitney, said he was “totally thrilled” to receive the accolade.
Other honorees include grime star Wiley, real name Richard Cowie, who is awarded an MBE for his services to music. Widely acknowledged as a pioneer of the distinctly British form of hip-hop known as grime, Wiley told the Press Association that being made an MBE “feels like the school grade I wanted and didn’t get, but now I’m finally there.”
Capping a highly successful 2017, the rapper/producer received an Outstanding Contribution to Music prize at this year’s NME Awards and released his critically acclaimed 11th studio album The Godfather in January.
Grace Ladoja, the manager of fellow grime star Skepta, additionally receives an MBE for services to music, while British actor, writer and musician Hugh Laurie — who has released two blues albums — is awarded a CBE in recognition of his work in television, film and drama.
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