LONDON (Reuters) – Ex-Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has been knighted in Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s honors list, along with Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb and author Michael Morpurgo, while ballet dancer Darcey Bussell becomes a dame.
Ringo, 77, real name Richard Starkey, joined the Beatles as a replacement drummer for Pete Best in 1962 and occasionally sang lead vocals, notably in “Yellow Submarine” and “With a Little Help from my Friends.”
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Beatle in 1988 and again in 2015 for his solo career after the group split up.
Gibb, 71, is the British musician who co-founded the Bee Gees with his brothers Robin and Maurice and went on to record a string of pop classics including “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever” from the film “Saturday Night Fever.”
English author Morpurgo, 74, is best known for children’s novels like “War Horse” and was Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005.
Bussell, 48, is a former principal dancer with the Royal Ballet and currently one of the four judges in the long-running BBC TV ballroom contest “Strictly Come Dancing.”
The New Year’s honors have been awarded since Queen Victoria’s reign in the 19th century and aim to recognize not just well-known figures but those who have contributed to national life through often selfless and unsung contributions over many years.
In that category, Margaret Jamieson, of the Blue Door charity shop on the Scottish island of Orkney is recognized, along with Geoffrey Evans, a local councillor in Falmouth, Cornwall for over 40 years.
Actor Hugh Laurie receives the CBE medal, as does author Jilly Cooper and the former editor of British Vogue magazine Alexandra Shulman.
England women’s cricket captain Heather Knight is made an OBE while hip hop artist Richard Cowie, aka Wiley, is made an MBE, along with Paralympian athlete Stefanie Reid.
The biannual honors list is released on the Queen’s official birthday in June and at the end of each year. The list is published by the Cabinet Office and can be seen at www.gov.uk/honours/honours-lists
Reporting by Stephen Addison, editing by Andy Bruce