Justin Timberlake + Missy Elliott Receive Honorary Doctorates At Berklee College Of Music

As thousands upon thousands of students complete their schooling and accepting their diploma some musicians are also receiving honorary degrees from world-renowned universities.

Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliott were two of the recent cap and gown-clad giftees at the Berklee College of Music‘s commencement on Saturday (May 11) in Boston. The pop star and rap queen – who is the first hip-hop artist to receive this honor from the prestigious university – enjoyed a celebratory weekend with staff and students, which culminated at a ceremony when they were handed their honorary doctorates in music.


Timberlake cracked a few jokes during his speech before offering some sage advice  : “You’re defined by what you define failure as. It’s not a thing if it leads you to your success. It’s all part of the journey.” The “Work It” artist gave a similar statement, saying “I just want y’all to know, there will be ups and downs. Prepare for that, but don’t give up. I know you may hear that all the time, but if I had given up long ago, I wouldn’t be standing here today. You have come too far to quit.” Watch the full address below.

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