Kinks’ Ray Davies Gets Knighted: A Well-Respected Manby Best Classic Bands Staff
The original announcement of the honor came with the Queen’s New Year Honours. Reacting to the designation, bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth II for his service to the arts, Sir Ray—as he will now be officially titled—said, in a statement to the press, “Initially I felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed. But after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who’s inspired me to write.”
The knighthood is not the first honor that Davies has received from his country. In 2004, the Queen awarded him the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Davies, who was the Kinks’ chief songwriter, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, co-founded the group in 1963 with his brother, lead guitarist and vocalist Dave Davies, bassist Pete Quaife and drummer Mick Avory. They broke up in 1996.
In the U.K. the Kinks earned 14 Top 10 singles, starting in 1964 with the #1 hit “You Really Got Me.” They scored two other #1’s: “Tired of Waiting For You” and “Sunny Afternoon.” Their other biggest hits include “All Day and All of the Night,” “Dedicated Follower of Fashion,” “Waterloo Sunset” and “Lola.” In the U.S., they had five Top 10 singles.
Ray and Dave have long been antagonistic toward one another and estranged, but in December 2015 rumors of a Kinks reunion were fueled when Ray joined his brother on stage during a gig at Islington Assembly Hall.
Davies’ first new album in over nine years – Americana – will be released on April 21 via Legacy Recordings. The 15-track collection of originals announced on January 23 is inspired by his years touring the U.S. with the Kinks, beginning with the British Invasion years of the mid-60s.