During Queen Elizabeth II’s more than 70-year reign, dozens of big names in the music industry have been honored as part of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the order of chivalry designed to reward British people who have contributed to the arts and sciences, to charity and to the public. service in the UK This has included both celebrity actors and industry insiders, ranging from Elton John to Universal Music Group Chairman Lucian Grainge.
The five classes of the Order of the British Empire, in descending order of prominence, are: Knight and Dame Grand Cross (GBE), Knight and Dame Commander (KBE and DBE, respectively), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE) and Member (MBE).
Not all music luminaries who were offered these titles accepted them. David Bowie was refused both a CBE and a Knighthood (GBE) in 2000 and 2003, respectively. Of this last honour, the icon would have said The sun“I would never intend to accept something like that. I really don’t know what the point is. That’s not what I spent my life working for.
Other high-profile music professionals who have declined honors over the years include John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten (MBE) of the Sex Pistols; singer-songwriter Paul Weller (CBE); jazz musician Humphrey Lyttelton (chivalry); and George Harrison, who turned down an OBE three years after Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney was knighted.
But overall, the list of music industry notables who have accepted these honors far exceeds those who have turned them down. Following the Queen’s death on Thursday (September 8) at the age of 96, we have compiled a list of people who have come forward to receive their titles – and have in turn been granted the right to place a ‘Mister “, “Lady” or another designation next to their names.