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Berklee College of Music to Honor Usher, R&B Icon Roberta Flack With Honorary Degrees

Photo Credit: Bellamy Brewster
Usher, the global music superstar who has sold more than 80 million records worldwide and won eight Grammy Awards, will be honored with an honorary Doctor of Music degree at Berklee College of Music's 2023 commencement ceremony.

Joining Usher in receiving honorary degrees will be R&B icon Roberta Flack and Gambian composer Sona Jobarteh. Flack is a legendary singer-songwriter known for hits like "Killing Me Softly With His Song" and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," while Jobarteh is a highly regarded kora player and vocalist who has been credited with revitalizing the centuries-old tradition of griot music in Gambia.

According to a release announcing the news, the three honorees will be celebrated and recognized for their invaluable contributions to the worlds of music and philanthropy.

They will be joining an elite club of past recipients of honorary degrees from the college, which includes legendary musicians such as Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Celine Dion, B.B. King, Joni Mitchell, Chaka Khan, Missy Elliott, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan and John Legend.

The commencement festivities will feature over 200 graduating students from Berklee's vocal, instrumental, dance, arranging, and production programs, who will pay tribute to each of the honorees with a concert that showcases musical tributes to the work of each artist.

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