Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliot Awarded Doctorates at JMC's Partner College

We are extremely proud to be Berklee College of Music’s exclusive Australasian education partner for a bunch of reasons...

Photo via Berklee College of Music Instagram

These reasons include exclusive visits and workshops with the Berklee team and being part of an amazing international network with Berklee and their other Global Partners. However, they did something special last month that we thought was pretty cool and made us even more excited to be partnered with these guys…

Berklee have awarded Music icon’s Missy Elliott and Justin Timberlake with honorary Doctorates in Music, who accepted their certificates at the Berklee 2019 graduation ceremony. Timberlake and Elliott shared their wisdom with students in their acceptance speeches, both stating how proud they are to hold their new status as doctors in music. 

Timberlake and Elliott spoke about their individual paths to success and difficulties along the way such as Elliott’s struggle with Graves disease since 2011. Berklee President Roger H Brown brought the star and audience to tears as he discussed Elliott’s “lasting impact in reshaping the landscape and culture of hip hop and R&B” earning her a standing ovation. Elliott is not only one of few to receive the honorary doctorate but also the first female rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

Timberlake made light of his status as a doctor, causing a barrage of laughs and applause from the audience throughout his speech. Timberlake shared that as a young musician he “often felt like a weirdo” but in graduating with his peers he felt like “he had found the other weirdo’s”. He left some advice for music students, later writing in an Instagram post “No DREAM is too big!!! Keep chasing!!! Trust me…I’m a DOCTOR!!! But, for real... THANK YOU to @berkleecollege for this incredible honor—I’m very humbled and grateful.”

Berklee College expressed their pride in the graduating musicians writing “This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring global impact” in a statement released in March. After the ceremony, Elliott and Timberlake further celebrated, sharing many videos posed with their certificates to Twitter and Instagram. 

Congratulations to Justin and Missy on this amazing achievement and to our friends at Berklee for being able to honour these incredible artists with this amazing achievement.

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