Will Champion, the drummer in the band Coldplay, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Southampton.
The 44-year-old was “extremely grateful” to receive his degree as Doctor of Music, which he accepted in-person at the university, where he also spoke to students about his career.
Coldplay, made up of Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, Champion and creative director Phil Harvey, has won seven Grammy Awards and nine BRIT Awards.
The band are extremely busy, as Martin just revealed that they were finishing a new album Moon Music which is the second Music Of The Spheres volume. They will also be the musical guests on the February 4 episode of Saturday Night Live.
Will Champion receives his honorary degree
Champion, who is from Southampton, attended Portswood Primary as a child, then Cantell School. He also has ties to the university as his parents worked there as academics.
The drummer also did work experience at the university when he was just 14. Champion worked at the Nuffield Theatre in the box office and backstage, which is on the campus.
Champion received his degree in January, and held a one-hour session with music students at the Turner Sims concert hall.
He said: “It was a lovely ceremony and a lovely opportunity to speak to music students.”
Drummer’s links to Southampton University
In 2017, Coldplay donated to the university to help fund the Centre for Cancer Immunology.
Champion’s mother sadly passed away from cancer in 2000, which inspired the band to support the cause.
The drummer said: “The work the University of Southampton is doing is truly groundbreaking and we are very happy we can support it in this way. It is amazing this is happening in Southampton.”
Professor Tim Elliott, Director of the Centre, said at the time that they were “very grateful” to Coldplay for the “generous gift.”
Champion has spoken at the university before, in November of 2017. As part of the VIP Guest Talk series staged for music students, he discussed Coldplay’s music, success, and their creative processes.