December 28, 2019 17:46:37
British-born Australian singer and actress Olivia Newton-John has been made a dame in the Queen’s New Year honours list, with Sir Elton John also making the list with the highest acknowledgement, the Companion of Honour.
- Olivia Newton-John received the honour for her services to charity, cancer research and entertainment
- Sir Elton John made the list for his services to music
- The Queen’s biannual honours list is released in June on her birthday and at the end of end of each year
The New Year honours have been awarded since Queen Victoria’s reign in the 19th century.
They aim to recognise not just well-known figures but those who have contributed to national life in the UK through often selfless and unsung contributions over many years.
The biannual honours list is released on the Queen’s official birthday in June and at the end of each year.
More than 1,000 people were honoured in this year’s New Year honours list, with the majority being recognised for outstanding work in their communities.
Newton-John, 71 — one of the more famous names on the list — is probably best-known for the 1978 musical Grease in which she sang the duet You’re the One that I Want with John Travolta, which became one of the world’s best-selling singles.
She received the honour for her services to charity, cancer research and entertainment.
Speaking to Press Association about the honour, Newton-John said: “I am extremely excited, honoured and grateful beyond words to be included with such an esteemed group of women who have received this distinguished award before me.
“As a girl born in Cambridge, I am very proud of my British ancestry and so appreciative to be recognised in this way by the United Kingdom.”
Singer Sir Elton, who was knighted in 1998, received his acknowledgement for services to music.
Over the course of his career, he has used his platform to promote the work of numerous charities and is now one of the only 64 people aside from the Queen herself who can hold the honour at any one time.
Taking to Twitter, Sir Elton said he felt “extraordinarily blessed” to have received the honour.
Knighthoods were also announced for film directors Sam Mendes and Steve McQueen and cricketer Clive Lloyd.
Mendes, 54, directed the Skyfall and Spectre James Bond movies while McQueen, 50, won the 2014 Best Picture Oscar for his film 12 Years a Slave.
He becomes a Knight Bachelor, awarded by the Foreign Office in recognition of outstanding service to the UK nationally and overseas.
Lloyd, 75, was a middle-order batsman and captain of the West Indies between 1974 and 1985 at a time when the team reached the peak of its powers.
Other notable names to make the list included Australian Trevor Bayliss, 57, the former England cricket head coach, and Snow Patrol singer Gary Lightbody, 43, who both received Orders of the British Empire (OBEs).
Ben Stokes, 28, who was man of the match as England won the cricket World Cup for the first time this year and hit an unbeaten 135 in his side’s epic third Ashes Test triumph against Australia, was also handed an OBE.
Fashion guru and TV presenter Gok Wan, 45, joined the Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe