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Rick Wakeman honoured by The Queen and made a CBE

Rick Wakeman
(Image credit: Kilamanjaro)

Prog legend Rick Wakeman has been made a CBE, or Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in the Queen's birthday honours list.

"It's a mixture of stunned and genuinely very proud," Wakeman told the PA News agency upon hearing the news. "In a strange way, my first thought was, 'Gosh, I wish my mum and dad were here to witness this' but then I realised, 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 is the only way I can describe it. 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 honoured and proud.

"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'. As a recognition, for me coming out of lockdown, coming out of everything, to get this is even more special."

The former Yes keyboard player released his latest solo album, the lauded The Red Planet, last year, and recently launched his own subscription TV show Rick's Plaice. He will take his Grumpy Old Christmas Show round venues in the UK this December.

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.