Former 2-Time ‘The Voice’ Coach Receives Honorary Doctorate

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Eight-time Grammy award winner Usher received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music this weekend.

The R&B superstar, who appeared as a coach on “The Voice” during seasons four and six, was presented the degree during a commencement ceremony at Boston University’s Agganis Arena on May 13. The college also granted four-time Grammy winner Roberta Flack and renowned kora player Sona Jobarteh the honorary doctorates as well.

According to Berklee, several of their highest-achieving graduates paid tribute to the three the night before at the commencement concert by playing some of their classics, which included Usher’s hit “U Remind Me” as well as his most famous tune, “Yeah!,” which has been streamed over one billion times on Spotify. Usher also took the opportunity to sing a few lyrics of “Without You,” the smash hit he released in collaboration with David Guetta in 2011.

“Usher was recognized for his tremendous artistry and profound influence on R&B music,” the college wrote. “He was also lauded for his role as a devout humanitarian, raising tens of millions of dollars for various causes and uplifting youth via his New Look Foundation, which has provided opportunities for young people in underserved communities since 1999.”

Usher Is Fueled by Inspiring Others Through His Music

Usher spoke in front of attendees at the ceremony and he shared the main goal he strives toward as a global influence.

“My goal as an artist has always been to inspire people to make a positive impact through my music, to make you feel something, and last night I felt proud…of the legacy that has been built and that we’re building together as artists,” Usher said about the concert.

He then provided words of encouragement for the Berklee College graduates, telling them to “keep running past that finish line [of your goals], break the barriers, identify that spark in you that motivates you to keep going, and don’t expect everything to be perfect and run smoothly. …Take what you’ve learned here [at Berklee], go into the world, and make great things.”

‘They Call Me Dr. Raymond’: Usher Shared His Gratitude on Instagram

The musician, whose full name is Usher Raymond IV, took to Instagram to celebrate his new title of Dr.

“They call me D-o-c-t-o-r R-a-y-m-o-n-d,” he wrote. “Thank you @berkleecollege for honoring me and presenting me with a Doctor of Music degree. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to share a message to the next generation of artists, producers, vocalists, arrangers, dancers and more. ‘Be brave and I hope your spark never goes away.’”

He also shared several photos of the ceremony, and they can be viewed below via the embedded Instagram link:

“U Remind Me” earned Usher his first Grammy in 2001. And he followed up the win by notching seven other trophies, as well as 23 nominations. He’s released eight studio albums which include 2004’s Confessions, his work that features several singles including “Yeah!” and “My Boo.” The 44-year-old artist has also shown off his acting chops in several movies like “Hustlers,” and “The Faculty.”