Dec 29, 2017: Ringo Starr, Barry Gibb Earn Knighthood

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Barry Gibb and Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr and Barry Gibb were among those on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2018 to receive knighthood. The news was announced on December 29, 2017. News of the former Beatle’s status had been leaked on Dec. 24 by several U.K. newspapers. The 77-year-old beloved drummer and singer, who received an MBE with his fellow Beatles in 1965, thus joined Paul McCartney, who was similarly honored in 1997.

Starr wrote on his Facebook page: “It’s great! It’s an honour and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love.”

McCartney wrote: “Huge congrats Sir Ringo! Sir Richard Starkey has a nice ring to it. Best drummer best pal. X Paul”

Neither John Lennon nor George Harrison received knighthood. All four received their MBE honors simultaneously. (See below.) MBE stands for Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for contributions to the arts and sciences.

Other British music stars who have been knighted over the years include Elton JohnMick JaggerTom JonesVan MorrisonRod Stewart (in a 2016 ceremony) and the Kinks’ Ray Davies who received the formal honors in 2017.

Starr’s ceremony took place on March 20, 2018, at Buckingham Palace, where Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, did the honors.

Upon hearing the news, the 71-year-old Gibb, who co-founded the Bee Gees with his twin brothers, Maurice and Robin–both deceased, said in a statement: “I am deeply honoured, humbled, and very proud. 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. The magic, the glow, and the rush will last me the rest of my life.”

The Bee Gees earned 19 singles that reached the U.K. Top 10, including the #1 hits “Massachusetts,” “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You,” “Night Fever,” “Tragedy” and “You Win Again.”

As a record producer/songwriter, Gibb has helped create milestones for other artists, ranging from Barbra Streisand’s 1980 Guilty album to the 1983 Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers smash duet “Islands In The Stream,” among others.

Gibb received his formal honours on June 26, 2018, at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London, presided over by Prince Charles.

The Bee Gees are the subject of a well-received 2020 documentaryHow Can You Mend a Broken Heart.

Starr sang lead vocals on such Beatles recordings as “Octopus’s Garden,” “Matchbox,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Boys,” among others. His five U.K. Top 10 solo hits include “Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy” and “You’re Sixteen.”

He was gearing up for a busy 2018. One month earlier, on Nov. 29, he announced a European tour with his All Starr Band, his first dates on the continent since 2011. Continuing with the All Starr Band were Santana/Journey star Gregg Rolie, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette. Also joining was 10cc co-founder Graham Gouldman and former Men At Work frontman Colin Hay.

Related: Our 2018 concert review of the All Starr Band

In December 2020, Starr released a great single, “Here’s to the Nights,” with McCartney among the guest vocalists.

When Ringo tours again with the All Starr Band, tickets will be available here and here.

There’s no truth to the rumor that two well known Gibb and Starr works will be renamed Saturday Knight Fever and A Hard Day’s Knight.

Watch footage of that 1965 day that The Beatles received their MBE

Best Classic Bands Staff

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