Florence Welch receives an honorary fellowship from her old university – Music News

Florence Welch has received an honorary fellowship from London’s University of the Arts.

The Florence and the Machine star dropped out of Camberwell College of Arts to focus on her music career and had only intended to have a year sabbatical before resuming her studies to “see where the music would go”, however, it ended up going somewhere.

The 35-year-old singer – whose mother Evelyn is Professor of Renaissance Studies, Provost, and Senior Vice President (Arts and Sciences) at King’s College London and incoming Vice Chancellor at the University of Bristol – was visually emotional as she accepted the honour at her old university on Wednesday (13.07.22).

She said on stage in a graduation cap and gown: “I didn’t think this would ever happen.

“As you can tell, I’m so honoured to receive this. As you may know, I was born in Camberwell and the art college loomed very large in my imagination, even before I attended.

“Growing up in Camberwell, everyone who I thought was interesting or cool or who were in my favourite bands seemed to have gone to Camberwell Arts College. But much to my mother’s dismay, as a patron of higher education herself, I stepped straight out of school into working in the nearest bar.

“…Rather than applying for any universities at all, I just wanted to be in a band but at that point in my life there really was no band…it was almost the imaginary there was just a lot of drinking. After a year of that and feeling increasingly lost, I tried to apply to art college.

“…I’m so happy that they [took me]. I have to say, without that space to create and dream in that foundation year, and the structure and sanctuary it provided me, I would not be the artist I am today.”

The ‘Sweet Nothing’ singer might have become an Ivor Novello-winning pop star, but she is still “incredibly sad” that she didn’t finish her degree.

She admitted: “I was always incredibly sad to not have completed my degree, so I cannot tell you what this means to me.”

Florence and the Machine have released five studio albums since 2009, the most recent being May’s ‘Dance Fever’, which topped the UK’s Official Album Chart.

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