STAR maker Eliot Kennedy has prescribed hits for many healthy chart careers and now he’s a real song doctor – with an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.
The city-based producer and songwriter joined best-selling author Marina Lewycka as the latest to receive the university’s top accolade.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our exclusive video report, including chats with them both - plus Eliot’s short acceptance speech in full.
Doctorates are being awarded every day for a fortnight during the student graduation ceremonies at Sheffield City Hall.
Others include former Sports Minister Richard Caborn, taekwondo Olympic medallist Sarah Stevenson and Sheffield Eagles boss and ex-player Mark Ashton.
Eliot and Marina were honoured for their achievements in the world of music and literature.
Grammy and Ivor Novello Award-winner Eliot produced the first Spice Girls album in Sheffield and is responsible for some of the biggest chart hits of the past two decades.
He has worked with many big names in the music industry and most of the recording takes place at his studio in Sheffield where he has written for and produced hits for Bryan Adams, Take That, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion and comedian Peter Kay.
Eliot was Producer for Artist Development on last year’s X Factor and co-produced the Queen’s official Diamond Jubilee song, Sing with pal Gary Barlow.
His Sheffield-based One Song Foundation venture harnesses the power of music to create positive change in communities around the world.
Sell-out concerts at Sheffield’s City Hall and O2 Academy have raised more than £20,000 and donations have been made to Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, Cavendish Cancer Care and to a number of homeless support projects in South Yorkshire.
Eliot said: “They said I was to be honoured with a doctorate...honoured isn’t a big enough word to describe the feeling.
“Actually my first emotion was one of guilt. Students have to study for years for their doctorates and here I am being given one.
“I am not one to spend too much time looking back at my career, but I guess this is one of those occasions where I have to take stock of what I have achieved and experienced.”
Marina’s debut novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian sold more than a million copies.
This was followed by two more big-selling novels, Two Caravans in 2007 and We Are All Made of Glue in July 2009. Her new book, Various Pets Alive and Dead, was published in March.
Marina, who lives in Sheffield, was born in a refugee camp in Germany in 1946 and moved to England when she was one.
She said: “I’m enormously proud and grateful to Sheffield Hallam for having given me the opportunity to be both an academic and an author.”