Elvis Costello and M.I.A. are two musical artists to have been awarded an O.B.E. (that is, Order of the British Empire) as part of the annual the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
This year’s annual Queen’s Birthday Honours have been dished out, with musicians such as Elvis Costello and M.I.A. both receiving an O.B.E. for “Services to Music”.
64-year-old Elvis Costello took to his website recently to reveal that he had decided to accept the honour of being an Officer of the Order of the British Empire after being convinced to do so by his mother.
“I am happy to accept this very surprising honour, ” Costello began. “I have to admit that my first reaction, upon receiving an “O.H.M.S.” letter was, ‘Oh no, they’ve finally tumbled me.’
“Reading the letter, I thought for a while, then folded the document and slept on the news until the morning when I could place a call to England and speak to my mother, Lillian MacManus.
“Lillian is almost the same age as Her Majesty, so I regard myself as immensely fortunate that I am still able to seek her counsel. She suffered a severe stroke last year, just two days before my 64th birthday, but thanks to the prompt attention of an incredible NHS specialist ward and the sustained dedication and kindness of her home care team, she has recovered her wits and words to a truly remarkable degree.
“I began my call by telling my Mam that the Prime Minister, Mrs. May, had put my name forward for an O.B.E. ‘But she’s rubbish’, Lillian cut in before I could complete the news. Well, that aside, I said, ‘Of course, I won’t be accepting the award.’
“I didn’t get much further with that statement either. I listened carefully to my mother’s argument that if something is deserved then one must be gracious in acceptance.
“So, as a good lad, who likes to do what will make his Mam most proud, I knew that I must put old doubts and enmities aside and muster what little grace I possess.”
Meanwhile, M.I.A. also became a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, explaining on Instagram how her mother had been an integral part of the O.B.E. medals for a number of years.
“I’m honoured to have this honour, as it means a lot to my Mother,” M.I.A. wrote. “I want to honour what my mum spent many hours of her life doing!
“She is one of the 2 women in England who hand stitched these medals for the last 30 years. After receiving asylum my mum and cousin took this job in 1986, because it was the only non English speaking manual labour she could find.
“She spent her life in England hand sewing 1000s of medals for the Queen. No matter how I feel or what I think , my Mother was extremely proud of the job she had.
“It’s a very unique situation for me where I get to honour her most classiest minimum wage job ever.”
In addition to both Elvis Costello and M.I.A. receiving such honours, a number of other artists were recognised for their “Services to Music”, including composer Jonathan Dove, Roachford frontman Andrew Roachford, and Seán Feargal Sharkey of both The Undertones and Feargal Sharkey.