AceShowbiz - Rock legend Rick Wakeman has been left "stunned and proud" after landing a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honors list.
The former Yes star was feted for his service to music, alongside Lulu, Engelbert Humperdinck, Alison Moyet, and Julian Lloyd Webber on Friday, June 11, while actor Jonathan Pryce and TV presenter Prue Leith were handed a knighthood and a damehood, respectively.
And 72-year-old Wakeman told Press Association of his reaction to the honor, "It's a mixture of stunned and genuinely very proud. In a strange way, my first thought was, 'Gosh, I wish my mum and dad were here to witness this,' but then I realized, of course, that my dad would be 105 and mum would be 103 - so the odds were heavily stacked against that."
"I am quite literally stunned and proud... Friends who know me and have been in the business know I never expected a thing like this. I can only say thank you very much. I really feel very honored and proud."
In his statement, Wakeman also touched on the COVID-19 pandemic. "It has been horrendous for all musicians for the last year, year and a half, two years in fact -- and for everybody associated with the entertainment industry. It has been really tough," he said.
"I have carried on making music but sometimes you are making music and go, 'Why am I doing this? There is no end in sight as to when we can play live, when we can do stuff,' " he elaborated further. "As a recognition, for me coming out of lockdown, coming out of everything, to get this is even more special."