Arise Sir Ringo: Beatles drummer knighted in UK honors list

Musician Starr poses during a
FILE PHOTO: Musician Ringo Starr poses during a "Peace & Love" event to celebrate Starr's 77th birthday in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

December 30, 2017

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

(Reporting by Stephen Addison, editing by Andy Bruce)

  • Sheriff Bart

    clever good one

  • Think 2 Moves Ahead

    I grew up during the British Invasion of the sixties. Best music ever. Who, The Animals, Doors and of course the Beatles. Glad to see them recognized. Little know fact; it was the Telstar communications satellites that made the fortunes for the music industry.

  • Warp Speed

    Sad to think that knighthood has been reduced to self-centered celebrities who have nothing to do with honor, heroism or valor… a true reflection on what society has become. Similar to giving a Nobel prize for doing nothing but using oxygen (that would be Obama-the-Great-Divider)

  • Phil

    I wouldn’t want the nonagenarian Queen flipping a sharp sword around anywhere near my ears.

  • Let My People Go

    The Beatles would not have been the Beatles without Ringo. He was part of the beautiful dynamics of the group, and a great guy! Kudos, Sir Richard Starkey!


    I love the Beatles and their music however I think England has dropped the bar pretty low on who qualifies to be Knighted by England. In my world Paul and Ringo are not Knight material , they wrote some great music and made a lot of money but that’s it.

    • Let My People Go

      The Beatles were once responsible for most of the GDP of Great Britain. They deserve the recognition.

      • MJABRTDK

        When i think of a Knight, Paul and Ringo don’t come to mind, like I said before the bar has been set real real low.

  • Larry

    The article states that “Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb … is the British musician …”. The Bee Gees are actually from “Down Under”.

  • BillVA

    I recall being a kid watching Beatles movies in the theatre.

    All those damned girls screaming at a movie screen.

  • BillVA

    I just can’t picture him in a suit of armor…

  • Lonney L Sennett

    This is one of the reasons the United Kingdom is now the size of a postage stamp. They must result to considering Rock Stars as their Nights and hero’s. They need real nights to vanquish those who are creating turmoil and ravaging their nation. Sir Ringo Star, really! How pathetic your nation has become.

    • BillVA

      Okay, just one last time before my 2018 resolutions kick in:

      “heroes” not “hero’s”
      “knights” not “nights”

      Sorry. But you DO have the honor of being my last Grammar Nazi target for 2017.

      I DO have to agree with your sentiment. My mother was British (a WW2 bride) and her brother was a Spitfire pilot. Lots of blood needlessly shed just so a generation or two later the country could turn into a pile of Islamic crap. And this idea of knighting media personalities makes a mockery of the honor.

      • Lonney L Sennett

        Point well taken. If I’m going to comment, I should pay attention to grammar and spelling.

        • BillVA

          Hey, buddy.

          I rarely point that stuff out. It just comes across as being arrogant.

          I use Firefox, which has automatic spell check built in. But you still get things like “form” instead of “from” (and “fro” rather than “for”) that slide by, because they are all valid words. And there are times when you type what you type, and don’t REALLY believe to be the correct word or usage.

          Even with these imperfections, take heart that you and I could be Senior Editor for most of these news sites. And we could be President of Yahoo!

          MAGA to the Max for 2018!

          • BlueBoomPony

            I just don’t worry about it because comment sections are not peer reviewed journals. When quickly typing out a quip, I’ll sometimes make a silly error and not even notice.

            Also, I like to use voice recognition to speed it up, and Siri has an annoying habit of changing things after-the-fact. It happened right in this comment. She originally got “typing out a quip” correct, but after starting the next paragraph I noticed quip had become whip. WTF?

          • BillVA


            Back in the early days of the PC industry, I managed Purchasing, Vendors and Inventory for a reseller of about 50,000 products. I recall when “Naturally Speaking” voice recognition software came out…the beta version was not all that good.

            Lately I’ve noticed that I’ll type a completely out-of-place word in my comments. It’s as though my mind wanders and my fingers follow.

            I worry more about some of the “Did I really say THAT?” comments than I do the occasional technical error.

  • Never got much of a thrill about the Beatles growing up in the sixties. They seemed like they were like “corporate” bands made up in the offices of record producers selling product. The did evolve to make some iconic albums like “Revolver”, “Sgt. Peppers”, “White Album”, and “Abbey Road”. Still, not as gritty as the Who or Rolling Stones work at the time. Then came Hendrix…whew, it’s been “on” ever since he changed the landscape. But I digress…Ringo Starr was a Beatle and did make a mark in music history so good on the old sod.

    • BlueBoomPony

      They had a knack for writing catchy tunes. Honestly to me that’s all there is to it.The Who won the Stones were good as well. I see no point in putting them against each other.

      All I know is my little garage band of old farts pretending to be rockers finally managed to get that first iconic note of Hard Day’s Night just perfectly

  • Disgusted Citizen

    Guess they ran out of people with real contributions to Knight so now they just give it to anybody.

  • phicrappazappa

    A consummate drummer, who never needed to sit behind 30 drums, a gong, and 2000 cymbals to make music. Congratulations, Sir Ringo.

  • JohnGalt11

    There was once a time when being ‘Knighted’ by the Queen or King meant something. Those days are long passed and the memories of how it should be just got dimmer. But then, the days when English royalty meant something are also over.
    Call him ‘Lucky Sir Ringo’ – the musically pedestrian one who got picked up by a couple of very talented blokes.

    • Jay Smith

      You clearly do not recognize or understand the talent of this left handed “pedestrian” percussionist. And while the emblems of royalty and the British empire are fading into what is now viewed as the United Islamic Republic of Britain; at least recognize and respect him as the talented rhythm and percussionist of some very talented musicians, who incidentally have continued to influence music, Sir Ringo Star or Sir Richard Starkey, each have earned a place in the culture of the 20th and 21st century.

    • Shane Norkus

      The only ‘musician’ in the Beatles was George Harrison. McCartney and Lennon were mediocre musicians, but talented lyricists, who learned their trade while on-the-job.

      Ringo Starr was an okay drummer who could hold a back beat and had a little bit of showmanship in his banging and slamming style.

      For a no-talented hack, being a member of the Beatles was very lucrative. He’s now worth $300,000,000+. Not a bad gig.

  • Nicky

    Weren’t the Beatles knighted back in the sixties?

  • Proud deplorable✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

    I’m surprised they even considered Knighting him after slamming him and going postal over his participation in the movie One Million Years BC. I guess all the old people that objected are dead now?

    • The movie was “Caveman” with Barbara Bach, Shelly Long, John Metsuzak. Funny as hell with a cute ending.

      • BlueBoomPony

        I did kind of admire it for going with the fake caveman language and relying on the visual humor. It was an example of the silly slapstick of the era, but it had its moments.

      • Proud deplorable✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

        Thank you for the correction, I kept imagining Raquel Welch in a fur bikini and lost my train of thought.

    • BillVA

      Didn’t he end up dating (marrying?) Barbara Bach?

  • AtomicFury

    Please, please, please, please, please don’t ever knight Roger Waters.

    • I ‘d like to see Pete Townshend get his due. Damn he was nuts back in the day!

      • Sheriff Bart


    • BlueBoomPony

      Waters would probably hit himself in the head with it and then blame everyone else

      • AtomicFury

        And produce an album about it.

  • Richard

    Ringo Starr, a part of my life. Congrats Sir Ringo!!!!!

  • ShortSweet

    Much like the pardons given in the US .. since apparently we common folk have no say in it, who cares.

    • Twinkle Toes

      So you’re talking criminals and this story is talking best in their art and good deeds I fail to see the connection

  • Robert Adams

    Year end. Sort of like US Presidential Pardons only a Royal Knighthood.

    • Twinkle Toes

      Just like ShortSweet, you’re talking criminals and this story is talking best in their art and helping the less fortunate. I fail to see the connection.

      • Robert Adams

        You miss sarcasm – it’s a year end action.

        • Twinkle Toes

          Guess I missed that


    Congratulations! well deserved.

  • All American

    Always and forever loved Ringo now Sir Ringo! Congratulations Ringo after all these years act naturally 🎉

  • FromThe70s

    Sir Ringo, your first quest is to drive the invaders out of your kingdom.

    • mark abby

      The days of real knights are long gone. These days they’re singers, dancers or popular politicians

  • Trzo9veuha

    Gee, Ringo (the hired help) finally gets some recognition. I wonder what McCartney (the real beatle) thinks of this?

    • semperfipar

      The Beatles had three musicians and one of them was not. Guess which one.

      • Trzo9veuha

        From what I read none of them were musicians at the start. But a couple years practicing in Germany helped out. Personally, I can’t stand them and never quite figured out what people saw in them.

        • Twinkle Toes


        • Bill Jr

          Back in the Sixties or Seventies You Might Have Been Shot For Saying That! Better Luck In The Future 🙂

          • Trzo9veuha

            I originally said it in the late 50’s, when they were the “Quarrymen”.

    • weasel1886

      I would think they would be glad