Honorary Degree Recipients

There is a select group of performing and recording artists, educators, and contributors to today's professional music who are recipients of the honorary doctorate degree from Berklee College of Music. Their contributions have the enduring qualities that define the musical era in which they played a leading role. Past recipients include forerunners from all different areas and styles of music and reflect the broad range of interests, talents, and aspirations of our students, faculty, and staff.

First name Last name Year
Duke Ellington 1971
Arthur Fiedler 1972
Harry Ellis Dickson 1973
William "Count" Basie 1974
Tony Bennett 1974
Mabel Mercer 1975
George Wein 1976
Woody Herman 1977
Sarah Vaughan 1978
Lawrence Berk 1979
Teddy Wilson 1979
Buddy Rich 1980
John Williams 1980
John Hammond 1981
Billy Taylor 1981
John Dankworth 1982
Cleo Laine 1982
Quincy Jones '51 1983
Leonard Feather 1984
Oscar Peterson 1984
B.B. King 1985
Arif Mardin '61 1985
Herbie Hancock 1986
Paul Simon 1986
Matt Betton 1987
Art Blakey 1987
Raymond Kurzweil 1987
Phil Ramone 1987
Dave Grusin 1988
Clark Terry 1988
Joe Williams 1988
Armand Zildjian 1988
Gary Burton '62 1989
Dizzy Gillespie 1989
Percy Heath 1989
Milt Jackson 1989
Connie Kay 1989
John Lewis 1989
George Martin 1989
George Benson 1990
Willis Conover 1990
Jack DeJohnette 1990
Jerry Goldsmith 1990
Carlo Pagnotta 1990
William Stanley 1990
Phil Collins 1991
Ahmet Ertegun 1991
Roy Haynes 1991
Al Jarreau 1991
Ikutaro Kakehashi 1991
Joe Zawinul '59 1991
Peter Erskine 1992
Frances Preston 1992
Bonnie Raitt 1992
Joseph Smith 1992
Cheryl Bentyne 1993
Karl Bruhn 1993
Michael Greene 1993
Tim Hauser 1993
Billy Joel 1993
Johnny Mandel 1993
Alan Paul 1993
Janis Siegel 1993
Oleta Adams 1994
Amar G. Bose 1994
Sting   1994
Nancy Wilson 1994
Alan Bergman 1995
Marilyn Bergman 1995
Ray Brown 1995
Pino Candini 1995
Natalie Cole 1995
Johnny Griffin 1995
Jim Hall 1995
Herb Pomeroy '52 1995
Tito Puente 1995
Alan Silvestri '70 1995
James Taylor 1995
Alf Clausen '66 1996
Milt Hinton 1996
Patti LaBelle 1996
Pat Metheny 1996
Horace Silver 1996
Sadao Watanabe '65 1996
Bruce Cockburn '65 1997
Chick Corea 1997
Andraé Crouch 1997
Henry Mancini 1997
John Scofield '73 1997
Toshiko Akiyoshi '59 1998
Jerry Leiber 1998
Joe Lovano '72 1998
Eddie Palmieri 1998
Vito Pascucci 1998
Carly Simon 1998
Mike Stoller 1998
David Bowie 1999
Curtis Fuller 1999
Benny Golson 1999
Robert Morgan 1999
Wayne Shorter 1999
Herb Alpert 2000
Patti Austin 2000
Michel Camilo 2000
Dave Holland 2000
Jennifer Holliday 2000
John Sykes 2000
Steve Vai '79 2000
Walter Becker 2001
William Davis 2001
Donald Fagen '66 2001
Elvin Jones 2001
Al Kooper 2001
Larry Linkin 2001
David Foster 2002
Shirley Horn 2002
Patty Larkin '74 2002
Robert Moog 2002
Terri Lyne Carrington '83 2003
Paquito D'Rivera 2003
Bobby McFerrin 2003
Makoto Ozone '83 2003
Dianne Reeves 2003
Sonny Rollins 2003
Giovanni Tommaso 2003
Steven Tyler 2003
Lee Eliot Berk 2004
Michael Brecker 2004
Dennis Chambers 2004
Bill Cosby 2004
Chaka Khan 2004
Phil Wilson 2004
Anita Baker 2005
Ruben Blades 2005
Ron Carter 2005
Kevin Eubanks '79 2005
Steve Gadd 2005
Hank Jones 2005
Abe Laboriel Sr. '72 2005
Marian McPartland 2005
Enrico Rava 2005
Patrice Rushen 2005
Earl Scruggs 2005
McCoy Tyner 2005
Ornette Coleman 2006
Melissa Etheridge '80 2006
Aretha Franklin 2006
Israel "Cachao" Lopez 2006
Branford Marsalis '80 2006
Andy McGhee 2006
Elliot Scheiner 2006
The Edge 2007
Clint Eastwood 2007
Emilio Estefan 2007
Gloria Estefan 2007
Christopher Guest 2007
Andrew Hill 2007
Loretta Lynn 2007
Philip Bailey 2008
Rosa Passos 2008
Howard Shore '69 2008
Ricky Skaggs 2008
Maurice White 2008
Steve Winwood 2008
Burt Bacharach 2009
Dave Brubeck 2009
Juan Luis Guerra '82 2009
Emmylou Harris 2009
George Massenburg 2009
Bernice Johnson Reagon 2009
Smokey Robinson 2009
Linda Ronstadt 2009
Renzo Arbore 2010
Kenny Barron 2010
Paco de Lucia 2010
Stefano Bollani 2010
Kenneth Gamble 2010
Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez 2010
Giovanni Hidalgo 2010
Leon Huff 2010
Angelique Kidjo 2010
Doc Watson 2010
Kenny Garrett 2011
Michael McDonald 2011
Mavis Staples 2011
Bebo Valdés 2011
Chucho Valdés 2011
Mulatu Astatke '58 2012
George Clinton 2012
Glenn Frey 2012
Don Henley 2012
Alison Krauss 2012
Timothy Schmit 2012
Joe Walsh 2012
William Cepeda '85 2013
Carole King 2013
Annie Lennox 2013
Willie Nelson 2013
Eddie Gomez 2013
Alejandro Sanz 2013
Harry Belafonte 2014
Plácido Domingo 2014