A Beatle and a BeeGee selected to be honored with knighthood


Two famous band members have been selected for knighthood, the honor revealed as Britain’s Cabinet Office published a list of those receiving recognition. Among the names was a Beatle and a Bee Gee – Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb, respectively.

According to the Associated Press, “Britain’s Cabinet Office publishes a list of the people receiving honors for merit, service or bravery twice a year: just before New Year’s Eve, and on the Saturday in June when Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday is officially observed.”

People are nominated by members of the public, which are then reviewed by a specialist committee and then by a main honors committee before being sent to the prime minister. The various honors are then bestowed by the queen or senior royals, according to the AP.

This year’s New Years list, revealed Friday, includes the two singing icons, selected for knighthood in the name of Britain’s monarch. Starr was a drummer for the internationally beloved Beatles, while Gibb is the oldest and last surviving member of the pop group the Bee Gees.

Starr, whose birth name is Richard Starkey, is the low-key drummer that joined the Beatles just before they rocketed to stardom. Speaking to reports of his knighthood, Starr said,  “It’s great! It’s an honor and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love.”

Starr’s bandmate, Sir Paul McCartney, was knighted in 1997. McCartney had lobbied publicly for Starr to receive a knighthood, and tweeted his congratulations on Saturday (see below), writing, “Huge congrats Sir Ringo! Sir Richard Starkey has a nice ring to it. Best drummer best pal! X Paul.”

The two are the only surviving Beatles, as Lennon was shot dead in 1980 and George Harrison died in 2001. Harrison turned down the honor of knighthood, which was offered to him in 2000, before his death from cancer the next year..

Gibb, who was recognized for services to music and charity, said he would dedicate his knighthood to his late bandmates, who were his brothers. Twins Robin Gibb died in 2012, and Maurice Gibb died in 2003.

“I want to acknowledge how responsible my brothers are for this honor,” said Gibb, 71. “It is as much theirs as it is mine.”

“This is a moment in life to be treasured and never forgotten,” Gibb added.

Two others were selected to receive knighthoods in 2018. One is author Michael Morpurgo, who has written many treasured children’s books but including the 1982 book “War Horse.” The second is former British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who was a vocal opponent of Brexit and later resigned as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

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