Former Beatle Ringo Starr and the only surviving member of the Bee Gees, Barry Gibb, have both received the great honor of being knighted by the Queen. Both musicians are part of a group selected as Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for 2018. This is the highest honor bestowed on British citizens.
The award is for both service to charity and for their contribution to music. According to Rolling Stone, both men are receiving a solo MBE in 2018, after previously having received the MBE as part of their band.
The famed Beatles drummer first received a group MBE as part of the Fab Four, given to the band in 1965.
Although neither John Lennon nor George Harrison received a solo MBE, according to the Telegraph, Paul McCartney received his solo award back in 1997. After all of these years, Richard Starkey, Ringo’s real name, had given up hope that he would be bestowed this honor.
So, when he received the letter from the palace a few weeks ago, a family friend told the paper that Ringo was taken by complete, but happy, surprise.
“It came as a bolt from the blue. Ringo was totally knocked sideways but is chuffed to bits.”
Paul McCartney took to social media to warmly express his happiness for his former bandmate.
“Huge congrats Sir Ringo! Sir Richard Starkey has a nice ring to it. Best drummer best pal! X Paul”
Sir Paul had long promoted Sir Richard for the MBE, especially for his charity work. Ringo has done much to promote AIDS awareness, abused children, worldwide poverty, and the “creative arts.”
Barry Gibb, the last surviving member of the Bee Gees, was also honored as part of the band back in 2004. Born in England, his family moved to Australia, where Barry, along with his twin brothers Maurice and Robin, comprised the talented trio. Their musical career began in 1958 but exploded with the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in the late 70s.
Never forgetting his beloved brothers, Gibb made an emotional statement acknowledging his late brothers, as he is bestowed this tremendous honor.
“This is a moment in life 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.”
Both men, along with over 1,000 recipients including House actor Hugh Laurie and Soft Cell singer Marc Almond, will be officially honored in June, during the Queen’s birthday celebration.
In the meantime, it is proper to now called the recently knighted men by using “Sir,” and women “Dame” before their names.