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Elton John, Queen drummer and Olivia Newton-John honored by Queen Elizabeth II

Elton John, Queen drummer and Olivia Newton-John honored by Queen Elizabeth II

ABC/Randy Holmes

Elton John, Olivia Newton-John and Queen drummer Roger Taylor are among those whose names are included in the annual New Year Honours list, presented annually in the name of Queen Elizabeth II.  This is the list that announces if people are being knighted, or given one of several other British honors.

More than 1,000 people have received honors this year, but only a few are famous celebrities.  Among them is Elton, who was knighted in 1998.  He’s been given the elite “Companion of Honour” title, which is limited to only 65 people, for his services to music and to charity.

On Instagram, he wrote, “I’m humbled and honored to be among such highly esteemed company in receiving the Companion of Honour. 2019 has turned out to be a truly wonderful year for me and I feel extraordinarily blessed.”

Queen’s Roger Taylor has been made an OBE, an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to music.

Olivia Newton-John, who was born in England and raised in Australia, has been made a dame — the female equivalent of a knight — for her services to music, charity and cancer research.  A breast cancer survivor, she established a cancer wellness and research center in Melbourne in 2012.

In a statement reported by the BBC, Olivia said, “I am extremely excited, honored and grateful beyond words to be included with such an esteemed group of women who have received this distinguished award before me.”

Other well-known honorees include Oscar-winning directors Sam Mendes and Steve McQueen, both of whom have been knighted.  American Beauty and 1917 director Mendes was knighted for services to drama, while 12 Years a Slave director McQueen was knighted for services to art and film.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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