April 30, 2014

Valerie Simpson to Receive Honorary Degree from Berklee

valerie simpson

Valerie Simpson

Celebrated songwriter-producer and ASCAP Board member Valerie Simpson will receive an honorary doctor of music degree at Berklee College of Music’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10th, 2014 at Boston University’s Agganis Arena, where over 900 Berklee graduates, their parents and invited guests will be in attendance. Simpson and the other honorees are being recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture.

Simpson is, of course, one half of the songwriting, production and performing entity formerly known as Ashford and Simpson. Her chart-busting hits stretch over four decades and include "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "You're All I Need to Get By," "Let's Go Get Stoned," "I'm Every Woman," "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," "Your Precious Love" and "Solid." A Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee since 2002, she was elected to the ASCAP Board of Directors in 2007.

Berklee President Roger H. Brown will present the honorary degree at the commencement ceremony. In keeping with Berklee tradition, students will pay tribute to Simpson and the other honorees by performing their music at the Agganis Arena in a private concert on commencement eve.

Past Berklee honorary doctorate recipients include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Smokey Robinson, Steven Tyler, Loretta Lynn, David Bowie, Juan Luis Guerra, Paco de Lucia, Carole King, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss and George Clinton.