Ringo Starr (aka Richard Starkey) will be knighted in the Queen’s New Years honors making him the second Beatle to be awarded the royal title.
Sir Ringo Starr will share the same title as fellow Beatle Sir Paul McCartney who was knighted in 1997.
Ringo, at 77 years of age, is the oldest Beatle. This is his second royal honor. In 1965 he was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. Four years later in 1969, Lennon returned his award with the letter:
I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.
With love. John Lennon of Bag
The Queen has a good collection of musical knights. Her other Sir’s include Van Morrison, Ray Davies, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart and Cliff Richard as well as Dame’s (the female equivalent) of Julie Andrews, Kiri Te Kanawa, Shirley Bassey, Vera Lynn and Cleo Laine.
David Bowie was offered the title but turned it down.
Sir Ringo has been knighted for achievements in music and charitable work.
With The Beatles Ringo was occasionally allowed to sing. He sang lead on 11 Beatles songs. They were ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’, ‘Octopus’s Garden’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘Matchbox’, ‘Don’t Pass Me By’, ‘Goodnight’, ‘Yellow Submarine’, ‘Honey Don’t’, ‘Act Naturally, ‘What Goes On’ and ‘Boys’.
Ringo has also released 19 solo albums. His most recent album ‘Give More Love’ was released in September. His first solo album ‘Sentimental Journey’ was released in April, 1970 just two weeks after The Beatles officially split on 10 April 1970.
His biggest album ‘Ringo’ in 1973 is also his only solo album to go platinum. It featured his three Beatles buddies John, Paul and George on various tracks. ‘I’m The Greatest’, written by John for Ringo, featured three-quarters of The Beatles with John and George performing on the track with Ringo.