Elton John, Olivia Newton-John Named to Queen's New Year's Honours List

Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, Queen drummer Roger Taylor and Best Picture Oscar-winning British directors Sam Mendes and Steve McQueen were among the nearly 1,100 people recognized by Queen Elizabeth’s annual New Year’s Honours List.

Sir Elton John, who was previously knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in 1998, was elevated to the honors system’s highest level, Companion of Honor; only 65 people can hold that honor at one time, CNN reports.

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

The British-born Newton-John, who became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1979, will be made a dame for “services to charity, cancer research and entertainment.”

“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,” Newton-John said in a statement.

Taylor received an OBE for services to music, while both McQueen and Mendes will be honored with knighthood for their work.

Another notable artists that received New Year’s Honours include Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody, who was made an OBE for his services to music and charity in Northern Ireland, graphic designer Peter Saville, who created album covers for Joy Division, New Order, received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and singer Billy Ocean and the Searchers’ Mike Pender became Members of the Order of the British Empire, the BBC reports.

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