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Missy Elliott & Justin Timberlake Receive Honorary Doctorates From Berklee College of Music

On Saturday (May 12th) Missy Elliott and Justin Timberlake received honorary doctorates from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. (Orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, who delivered the commencement address, also received the honor.)

Elliott is the first hip-hop artist to receive an honorary degree from the prestigious college. When announcing Elliott, Berklee called the legendary artist a “groundbreaking solo superstar, pioneering producer, songwriter, singer, and rapper.”

According to CBS BostonElliott told a tale of resilience, mentioning setbacks like illness and being dropped from labels as things she had to overcome. She said:

There will be ups and downs — prepare for that…As long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Don’t forget that. You have come too far to quit.

Missy Elliott was clearly overjoyed by the honor, she posted a social media post about her new title:

Justin Timberlake also gave an uplifting speech, saying:

You’re defined by what you define failure as. It’s not a thing if it leads you to your success. It’s all part of the journey…I hope that in the years to come, two things will happen: One, I will represent you in the way that you most hope for. And two, I look around and see this graduating class. Meet me at the studio. I want to see y’all!

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