The Beatles’ Ringo Starr and The Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb are among the British luminaries set to receive knighthoods as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s annual New Year’s Honours.
In 1965, Starr was first knighted along with his Fab Four band mates as Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). Now, he will again receive an MBE for his “services to music,” the British government announced on Friday, 30 December.
Ringo Starr said of his solo knighthood in a press statement via the BBC: “It’s great! It’s an honour and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love.”
Starr’s fellow Beatle Paul McCartney was knighted in 1997 and, over the ensuing decades, has lobbied for Starr to become a Sir. In interviews, McCartney joked about going to Buckingham Palace on behalf of his drummer.
“The last time I went by [Queen Elizabeth] was out. Otherwise, I would have popped in and said ‘Look, love, Sir Richard Starkey,” McCartney told The Daily Telegraph.
Barry Gibb was previously knighted as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) alongside the Bee Gees in 2004. In the New Year’s Honours List, he will receive the “Knights Bachelor” for his “services to Music and charity.” In a statement, a “deeply honoured, humbled, and very proud” Gibb said: “This is a moment to be treasured and never forgotten. I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honour. It is as much theirs as it is mine.”
Soft Cell singer and solo performer Marc Almond, House actor Hugh Laurie and grime rapper Wiley were also named in the New Year’s Honours list. Author Michael Morpurgo was also knighted, while ballet dancer and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell is to become a dame.
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