Singer Bryan Ferry was made a CBE by the Queen yesterday for a life in music spanning almost 40 years and described the honour as “humbling”.
The 66-year-old’s career has covered everything from experimental tunes to sophisticated soul-pop and influenced many bands along the way.
With his distinctive delivery, good looks, debonair sense of style and supermodel girlfriend on his arm, Ferry was the ultimate rock star.
The Roxy Music frontman enjoyed a number of memorable hits with his bandmates – who included musical svengali Brian Eno in the early days – from their debut release Virginia Plain to the dancefloor filler Love Is The Drug.
His solo output showed another side of the singer – the suave cocktail bar crooner – who covered a string of songs by well-known artists like John Lennon and Bob Dylan.
Speaking after yesterday’s investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Ferry said: “Getting something like this is actually very humbling and I was very pleased to be recognised for, I guess, a long career and doing something I love doing.
“To get an official award like this is incredibly nice and quite a surprise – a very good surprise.
“I always knew I was going to be an artist – as soon as I left school and went to university and spent four years studying painting, I thought that’s what I want to do.
“I got to a point where I thought I’d put a band together and make a record and if it doesn’t work I’ll go back to painting, but the band worked incredibly well.”
He is currently touring his latest solo album, Olympia, and played reunion shows with Roxy Music early this year. The singer paid tribute to his musical partners in the band over the years – Graham Simpson, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, Paul Thompson, Eno and Eddie Jobson.
Ferry said: “I put together a band of great people so it was a shared enterprise, Roxy Music, but I wrote the songs – but I didn’t know how long it would last.
“In fact, I’m busier now than I ever was.”