For years, he’s been known as “Van the Man,” but now you can call him Sir Van. Van Morrison has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II as part of 2015 edition of the U.K. monarch’s annual Birthday Honors List.
The Belfast-born singer/songwriter is being recognized “for services to the Music Industry and to Tourism in Northern Ireland.” In 1996, Van was acknowledged by the Queen with the less prestigious OBE honor, or Order of the British Empire.
In response to his knighthood, Morrison issued a statement, saying, “Throughout my career I have always preferred to let my music speak for me and it is a huge honor to now have that body of work recognized in this way. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans who have supported me on my musical journey.”
This week, Morrison will receive another honor celebrating his music achievements when he’s presented with the Johnny Mercer Award on Thursday at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction gala in New York City. The following night, Van will play his only scheduled U.S. show this year when he performs at Forest Hills Stadium in New York City.