Star-Studded Commencement to Honor Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, and Alex Lacamoire
This year’s commencement honorees boast a combined 19 Grammys and more than 62 million albums sold. On May 11, President Roger H. Brown will present Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, and Alex Lacamoire B.M. ’95 with honorary doctorates during the ceremony, and all three will be celebrated in a tribute concert the night preceding commencement.
A legendary voice in hip-hop, Missy Elliott is a five-time Grammy winner whose full discography is certified platinum. As a rapper, producer, and songwriter, Elliott has been a pioneer and a record-setter in a career spanning more than 30 years. Her Super Bowl halftime show appearance alongside Katy Perry in 2015 broke viewership records and brought hits from the early 2000s, “Work It” and “Get Ur Freak On,” back onto the Billboard charts. She will be the first female rapper to receive a Berklee honorary doctorate.
Justin Timberlake is a multitalented artist who has found global success as a pop superstar (both solo and as a member of NSYNC) and as an actor, with 10 Grammys and four Emmys to his name. As a solo artist, Timberlake has been a regular presence at the top of the charts, most recently with his 2016 single “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (featured in the film Trolls) and his 2018 album, Man of the Woods, which reached no. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. While touring in support of the new record, Timberlake also released his autobiography, Hindsight & All the Things I Can’t See in Front of Me.
Delivering the commencement address this year is alumnus Alex Lacamoire, an orchestrator, arranger, and pianist who has shaped the music of some of the biggest Broadway hits of the last 15 years, including Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and In the Heights. In addition to his three Tony and four Grammy awards, Lacamoire received a special joint award at the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors for his work on Hamilton. He reunited with his Hamilton collaborators on the new FX miniseries Fosse/Verdon, where he serves as the supervising music producer.