Berklee President Roger H. Brown will present five-time Grammy Award–winner Missy Elliott, three-time Tony and Grammy Award–winner Alex Lacamoire B.M. ’95, and award-winning actor and 10-time Grammy Award–winning musician Justin Timberlake with honorary Doctor of Music degrees at Berklee College of Music’s commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 11, at the 7,000-seat Agganis Arena at Boston University.
This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring global impact. Past recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones ’51, B.B. King, Smokey Robinson, Loretta Lynn, Juan Luis Guerra ’82, Annie Lennox, Paco de Lucía, Carole King, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, George Clinton, Rita Moreno, Lionel Richie, Julio Iglesias, Mavis Staples, George Clinton, Valerie Simpson, Plácido Domingo, Wang Leehom ’99, A. R. Rahman, Rosanne Cash, Nile Rodgers, and Esperanza Spalding B.M. ’05.
As is Berklee’s tradition, on commencement eve, Friday, May 10, students will pay tribute to the honorees by performing music associated with their careers. The concert and ceremony, both at Agganis Arena, are not open to the public.
Multitalented actor and musician Justin Timberlake has sold more than 32 million albums worldwide, sold out arenas across the globe, received numerous awards and nominations, and has become one of the most highly respected entertainers in the business. He released the four-times platinum song “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from the film Trolls, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was ultimately the best-selling U.S. single in 2016. The single marked Timberlake’s 10th Grammy and garnered nominations for Academy and Golden Globe awards. In February 2018, Timberlake released his fourth solo album, Man of the Woods, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, and he is currently on his sold-out world tour in support of the project. A gifted actor, he has appeared in a diverse slate of films, including Alpha Dog, Bad Teacher, and Shrek the Third. He also earned strong reviews for his performance in the Academy Award–nominated The Social Network. Named “one of the 100 most influential people in the world” by Time in 2007 and 2013, Timberlake is a four-time Emmy Award winner for his appearances on Saturday Night Live, and he recently added author to his resume with the autobiographical book Hindsight & All the Things I Can’t See in Front of Me.