Aretha Franklin Receives Honorary Degree From Harvard University

The Queen of Soul accepts a doctorate of arts from the Ivy league school.

Posted: 05/30/2014 10:18 AM EDT

Harvard University showed Aretha Franklin well deserved R-E-S-P-E-C-T on Thursday (May 29), when they awarded the Queen of Soul with an honorary doctorate of arts.

Franklin was all smiles at the university's 363rd commencement ceremony as she was one of eight honorary degree recipients, alongside former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and President George H. W. Bush. 

This latest degree joins a collection for the 18-time Grammy Award-winning artist. Over the course of the last three decades, Franklin has racked up a slew of doctorates from Princeton University (2012); Yale University (2010); Berklee College of Music (2006); the New England Conservatory of Music (1995); the University of Michigan (1987); and more.

Before she received her latest badge of merit, Franklin, 72, accompanied herself on piano to open the ceremony with the national anthem. With more than 75 million albums sold and more than 233 songs recorded, Franklin is one of the best-selling female artists of all time.  

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(Photo: AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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