Ray Davies received a knighthood
The Kinks’ Ray Davies received a knighthood for his service to the arts as part of Queen Elizabeth’s annual New Year Honours list. Ray Davies: “Initially I felt a mixture of surprise, humility, joy and a bit embarrassed but after thinking about it, I accept this for my family and fans as well as everyone who has inspired me to write,” Davies said of the honor in a statement (via the BBC). The Kinks frontman was initially awarded the CBE – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the Queen in 2004.
Davies joins rock royalty like Paul McCartney, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Van Morrison and Rod Stewart as musicians who have been knighted by the Queen; David Bowie turned down the honor in 2003. “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that,” Bowie said at the time. “I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.”
John Lennon also returned the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) he was awarded as a member of the Beatles with a letter to the Queen that recently resurfaced and hit the auction block.
Other notables that received either a damehood or knighthood on the Queen’s New Year Honours 2017 list include Oscar-winning actor Mark Rylance, actress Naomie Harris, tennis star Andy Murray, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and former Spice Girls singer Victoria Beckham, who like Wintour was awarded an OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire – for services to the fashion industry.