Missy Elliott will become the first female hip-hop artist to receive an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, a spokesperson at the institution confirmed to HuffPost. The “Work It” artist will join Justin Timberlake and Alex Lacamoire in receiving honorary doctorates at the college’s upcoming commencement.
Berklee President Roger H. Brown will present the honorary degrees at the May 11 commencement ceremony at the Agganis Arena at Boston University, a Tuesday press release stated.
The honorees have begun celebrating the news on social media this week. Lacamoire, the music director of “Hamilton,” noted on Twitter that Berklee College is his alma mater.
“Being honored in this way by my alma mater means the world to me, you guys,” he wrote on Tuesday. “ I’m over the moon with joy and I’m psyched to be grouped with these legends! See y’all in May.”
Elliott similarly celebrated the news on Twitter, writing on Tuesday that she was “humbled” by the honor.
In January, Elliott became the first female hip-hop artist to be named as an inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Berklee College announced that its honorary doctorate recipients are recognized “for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring global impact.” Past recipients of the honorary doctorate include Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones and Smokey Robinson.
The students at Berklee College will pay tribute to the 2019 honorees, who are all Grammy winners, by performing music representing their careers at a concert on May 10.