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Bernie Taupin receives prestigious award as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year’s Honors List

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Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Twenty-seven years after Elton John received the honor, his long-term musical partner Bernie Taupin has been made a CBE — Commander of the Order of the British Empire — as part of Queen Elizabeth II‘s annual New Year’s honors list.

Taupin received the honor in recognition of his “exceptional services to music.” A CBE is one step below a knighthood. Elton was made a CBE in 1995, and was subsequently knighted in 1998, which is why he’s now called Sir Elton John.

“Congratulations to my lyricist extraordinaire on his C.B.E that was announced today!” Elton wrote on Instagram. “I love you and you so deserve this recognition.” In the comments, Bernie replied, “Thanks my darling friend. It’s all a bit ironic isn’t it.”

Other music legends who are CBEs include Queen‘s Brian May, Led Zeppelin‘s Robert Plant, Sting, and the Bee Gees.

Meanwhile, Melanie Brown, aka Mel B, aka Scary Spice of the Spice Girls, was made an MBE — a Member of the Order of the British Empire. However, she wasn’t honored for her music, but for her work with Women’s Aid, a charity that helps “vulnerable women,” specifically victims of domestic violence.

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