'Humbled & honoured': Elton John, Gary Lightbody head up music New Year Honours names

Sir Elton John

Elton John, Gary Lightbody, Roger Taylor, Olivia Newton-John and Sheku Kanneh-Mason were among the big music names recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

Sir Elton, whose life story was turned into the hit film Rocketman this year, was made a Companion Of Honour for services to music and charity. He said on Twitter he was “humbled and honoured to be among such highly esteemed company”. “2019 has turned out to be a truly wonderful year for me and I feel extraordinarily blessed,” he added.

He was joined on the list by several big artist names, including Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody (OBE), Queen’s Roger Taylor (OBE), rising classical star and Royal Wedding performer Sheku Kanneh-Mason (MBE), Billy Ocean (MBE), The Searchers’ Mike Pender (MBE) and Olivia Newton-John, who was made a Dame. The three members of The Priests, the hugely successful classical crossover act composed of priests and signed to Sony in the Noughties by Nick Raphael and Jo Charrington, are also honoured. The Very Reverends Eugene O'Hagan, Martin O'Hagan and David Delargy all pick up MBEs.

There were few leading executives on this year’s list, although Timothy Walker, CEO and artistic director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, was awarded a CBE and Charlie Kennard, co-founder and former principal of Chase & Status’ East London Arts & Music college, was given an MBE.

Classical music broadcaster Humphrey Burton received a knighthood while BBC Radio 1 legend Annie Nightingale picked up a CBE for services to radio.

Others receiving gongs included composers Errolyn Wallen, Helen Grime and Judith Bingham and designer Peter Saville, famous for his work on many iconic record sleeves, particularly for Factory Records, where he was a partner.

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