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Paul McCartney Receives Honorary Music Doctorate

He’s world famous, has received numerous accolades and has even been knighted. So it seems almost odd that after a long and illustrious career in the music industry, Paul McCartney is only now receiving his music doctorate. Yale University saw fit to award Sir Paul McCartney with an honorary Doctor of Music degree during the course of their prestigious award ceremony held on May 26.

The 65-year-old musical genius was credited with having given a fresh sound to rock, rock & roll, and rhythm & blues. The university said that no one could compare with the legendary songwriter and that his work has helped an entire generation to open their eyes. As the celebrated musician made his way up to the stage to receive his award the band played “Hey Jude”, a Beatles hit from 1968. There could have not been a more fitting accompaniment to the event and fellow recipients certainly seemed overjoyed to not only be receiving their degrees at the same time, but also to take photos and wave at the legendary Beatle. While McCartney certainly didn’t need the honorary doctorate to validate his impact on the world of music and pop culture, it does go a long way to showing just what an amazing and far-reaching impact he has had. Yale President Richard Levin described McCartney’s music as something that touched every emotion and said that he pushed “the boundaries of the familiar to create new classic.”

McCartney joins a short list of other honorary degree recipients that includes the likes of Carla Hills, Martin Rees, Cesar Pelli and John Lawrence Ashbery. In all, only eight extraordinary achievers have ever been honored in this way. Fellow Brit Tony Blair was also at the event. His eldest son is completing a master’s program at Yale and Blair is scheduled to teach a course at the prestigious university in the fall. He later took to the stage to deliver a speech on foreign relations to the students present. McCartney spent the rest of his Sunday touring a downtown art gallery before dining with a number of Yale dignitaries. He certainly seemed pleased to have been honored with the degree and a more fitting tribute could certainly not have been found.

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