You can now refer to rap and pop legends Justin
Timberlake and Missy Elliot as “Doctor” if you happen to see them out and about. On May 11th the Berklee College of Music held a commencement ceremony at Boston’s Agganis Arena. The school awarded Missy Elliot and Phylicia Rashad with honorary doctorates for their contributions to the art of music creation and production. While this isn’t the first time that a celebrity has received an honorary doctorate degree, it is the first time that a predominantly music-oriented college has recognized power figures like these in the music industry.
Honorary Superstar Doctors
Missy Elliot made history by becoming the first and only hip-hop artist to ever receive an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music. Missy is also on course to become the only female hip-hop performer to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June. Upon receiving their honorary doctorate degrees, Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliot took to social media to share the news.
Missy posted a video speaking about receiving the award on Instagram with the caption “CREATE YOUR OWN LANE!!!! Sincerely Dr. MISSY ELLIOTT🙌🏾🙌🏾 .@Berkleecollege👩🏾🎓 #VA #757.” Similarly, Justin Timberlake posted a photo of himself holding up his honorary doctorates degree with the caption, “No Dream is too big!!! Keep chasing!!! Trust me… I’m a DOCTOR.”
The Berklee College of Music announced it’s honorary doctorate recipients in a Twitter post captioned “ANNOUNCEMENT: @jtimberlake, @MissyElliot, and @LacketyLac to Receive Honorary Doctorates at #Berklee Commencement.” “This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring global impact, ” the school also said in a statement.
What It Means For Music
This marks a huge step in the overall advancement and recognition of music as an integral and beneficial factor when it comes to learning. Just Timberlake and Missy Elliot are both musical geniuses in their own rights as they put meticulous amounts of effort into making sure that their music and artistry are true reflections of the geniuses within.
By being recognized by the Berklee College of Music for their incredible achievements, this definitely sets a new precedent for the music industry as a whole. Past recipients of the Berklee College of Music honorary doctorate degree include the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, and Aretha Franklin just to name a few. Elliot and Timberlake are primarily being recognized for their writing and production ability when it comes to music.
The future of today’s music is undoubtedly shaping up to be more exciting and unpredictable than ever. Students at the Berklee College of Music performed renditions of each artist’s most popular songs to pay homage to them while receiving their honorary doctorates. With this kind of recognition, Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliot are setting the groundwork for artists that come after them.