LOOK: Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott receive honorary doctorate degrees
MANILA, Philippines – What else can’t Justin Timberlake do? Ditching for the day his usual "suit and tie," the actor and singer donned a toga and cap instead as he humbly accepted an honororary doctoral degree from Berklee College of Music on Saturday, May 11.
The private music college in Boston, Massachusetts awarded the Grammy-winning performer with a Doctor of Music degree during the graduating class' commencement ceremony at the Agganis Arena in Boston University.
“No dream is too big!!! Keep chasing!!! Trust me… I’m a DOCTOR!!!” Justin cheekily shared on Instagram, definitely not holding back on his happiness.
“But for real… Thank you to Berklee College for this incredible honor – I'm very humbled and grateful."
Justin also had the opportunity to deliver an acceptance speech, in which he candidly talked about uniqueness, fear, failure, and the successes that come with it.
“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,” Justin said. "You will never make something great if you are afraid that it’s going to suck, that it’s going to fail."
“You are different because you make the difference. That’s what you’re here to do. And it takes a little time to learn that and I know I would not have learned that about myself if it wasn’t for music," he added.
Justin ended his speech on a high note, eliciting cheers from the young crowd. “I hope that in the years to come, two things will happen: One, I will represent you in the way that you most hope for. And two, I look around and see this graduating class. Meet me at the studio. I want to see y’all!”
Aside from Justin, 5-time Emmy-winning singer-songwriter Missy Elliott was also awarded with the same degree, officially making the rap superstar the first hip-hop artist to receive that honor from Berklee.
Missy also took to Instagram to share the good news, telling her followers to "create your own lane."
Another video on Instagram showed Missy on stage in tears.
"This is still surreal to me and I keep crying and crying, it's such a feeling I can't even explain," she wrote in her post.
In her speech, she also reminded everyone never to give up.
“There will be ups and downs – prepare for that,” Elliott said in her speech. “But as long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Don’t forget that. You have come too far to quit.”
She also shared her experience on being diagnosed with Graves disease in 2011, an autoimmune disorder.
"I became ill where I couldn't even write. My nervous system shut down on me. I thought, 'this was it' – no need for me to keep going," she shared.
"But something in my spirit, the drive, and the patience, as long as you are breathing, it is never too late. People will tell you you're too old. People will tell you it would never work. Don't believe that, because I'm standing here today."
Justin Timberlake was a member of popular 90s boyband N*Sync before he pursued a solo R&B music career in the early 2000s. He is best known for his songs, "Cry Me A River", "Rock Your Body", "Senorita", "SexyBack", "My Love", "Suit and Tie", "Not A Bad Thing", and "Can't Stop The Feeling!".
Missy Elliott was part of all-female R&B group Sista in the mid-90s but went solo in 1997. She is known for hits “Get Ur Freak On,” “Work It," “Hot Boyz," and “One Minute Man”. – Rappler.com
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