Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, Alex Lacamoire receive honorary doctorates from Berklee

The doctors are in.

Rapper Missy Elliott, singer Justin Timberlake and composer Alex Lacamoire were awarded honorary doctorates this weekend from Boston's Berklee College of Music, joining the ranks of Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin and other music legends.

Explore>> Missy Elliott to make history with Berklee College of Music honorary doctorate

Elliott, 47, also made history by becoming the first hip-hop artist to receive the honor, the college said Saturday in a news release.

While accepting their degrees, the three Grammy Award winners offered words of encouragement to the crowd of new graduates.

"There will be ups and downs; prepare for that," Elliott said Saturday, adding: "As long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Don't forget that. You have come too far to quit."

>> Read more trending news

"You're defined by what you define failure as," said Timberlake, 38. "It's not a thing if it leads you to your success. It's all part of the journey."

Lacamoire, known for his work on Broadway's "Hamilton" and "Dear Evan Hansen," delivered the commencement address.

"By creating music, we say, 'I have a contribution to make,'" said the 43-year-old Lacamoire, who received his bachelor's degree from the college in 1995. "We say, 'Yes, I will add my voice to this collective.' Because we acknowledge music's might, how it can make a sea of people sway in alignment, how it can cause us to tear up and lose our inhibitions, how it can make a 9-year-old kid feel like he has a place and a purpose."

The trio later took to Twitter to celebrate.

"CREATE YOUR OWN LANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sincerely Dr. MISSY ELLIOTT," Elliott wrote. "Thank you for this Honorary Doctorate Degree I am SO HUMBLED."

>> See Elliott's tweet here

"No Dream is too big!!! Keep chasing!!! Trust me... I'm a DOCTOR!!" Timberlake quipped.

>> See Timberlake's tweet here

Meanwhile, Lacamoire shared some behind-the-scenes snapshots, including a selfie of the honorees.

>> See the photos here

Read more here.

About the Author