Van Morrison has received the highest award given to a citizen of the United Kingdom. He was given a knighthood on Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honors list in recognition of "services to the music industry and to tourism in Northern Ireland."

The BBC prints a statement from Morrison that reads, "Throughout my career I have always preferred to let my music speak for me, and it is a huge honour to now have that body of work recognised in this way. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans who have supported me on my musical journey."

The heads of his label, RCA Records, issued a joint statement in a press release. "We are thrilled to hear the momentous news that Van Morrison has received such a prestigious and well deserved honor today," they wrote. "All of us at RCA are wishing him a heartfelt congratulations."

This coming Thursday (June 18), Morrison will again be recognized for his career. He is the recipient of this year's Johnny Mercer Award, which is given annually by the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. The gala will take place at the Marriott Marquis in New York.

Now to be known as "Sir George" -- his given name is George Ivan Morrison -- the singer joins Elton JohnPaul McCartney and Mick Jagger as rock legends who have been given the honor. And if he has any trouble deciding which of his classics for the opening song of his concerts, he can always go with "Here Comes the Knight."

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