Ringo Starr receives honorary degree from Berklee College of Music
Ringo Starr joined the class of 22 at Berklee College of Music on Thursday, June 2, to receive an honorary degree. The university first announced that the Beatles drummer would receive his doctorate in music at launch ceremonies in May, but Starr was unable to attend. Instead, he addressed the graduating class via pre-recorded video.
In the video, Starr played drums before launching his signature peace sign saying “peace and love,” before congratulating the promotion.
“I am finally a doctor! I never went to college, but I certainly had a lot of experience in music, so I guess I earned it my way,” he said.
A special ceremony was held Thursday to honor the drummer in person after he and his band All Starr came to town for a show. The ceremony honored his lifelong contributions to the music scene and featured renditions of Starr’s songs, arranged and performed by Berklee students.
Upon graduation, Starr opened up about how he started playing drums at just 13 while battling a childhood illness. Doctors at the hospital brought percussion instruments to entertain the young patients – Starr has been hooked ever since.
“I just wanted to be a drummer from then on,” he added. “It was my big dream and it still comes true. I can play with great guys, like the band here. It’s just a good life I lead.
All Starr Band drummer Gregg Bissonette and Berklee President Erica Muhl gave the ceremony’s opening speech.
Starr and his All Starr Band kicked off their first tour since 2019 earlier this year by announcing an NFT collection of digital artwork, complete with signed canvas prints created by Starr. A live auction of the collection will begin on June 13, presented by Julien’s Auctions. Auction information is available HERE. A portion of the proceeds will be distributed to The Lotus Foundation.
Ringo Starr (Photo: Courtesy of MasterClass)