Lionel Richie has received an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College of Music.
The 67-year-old icon already has a string of accolades to his name, including five Grammys, an Oscar and a Golden Globe – but he has now also been recognized by the institution in Boston, Massachusetts. In his introduction, Berklee President Roger H. Brown said: “For his contributions to contemporary culture, his humanitarian efforts, and the joy his music brings to so many, it is my pleasure to present Berklee’s honorary doctorate of music to Lionel Richie.”
Music star Pharrell Williams also wrote a tribute to Lionel, which Brown read: “Lionel is the ultimate musical alchemist! Anytime you hear a Lionel Richie song, it takes you back to the moment you first heard it.” Lionel, for his part, offered some words of encouragement to the graduating students during his own speech.
He said, according to PEOPLE: “You are in the prime seat to tell the world what they need to know.” Lionel has previously admitted that despite his advancing years, his enthusiasm for music has never waned. What’s more, the singer-songwriter revealed he considers making music to be a passion, rather than his job.
He previously said: “This is probably the best hobby I’ve had, it has stuck with me throughout my entire life. Every year, I keep thinking ‘I’m going to slow down’.” And Lionel said that as long as fans continue to enjoy his performances, he doesn’t intend to walk away from the stage anytime soon. He explained: “The crowds keep showing up. Why would I want to slow down? I’m having too much fun!”