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Little Richard awarded Honorary Doctorate by U.S. university

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May 13, 2013 | 1:32am EDT

Music legend Little Richard struggled to contain his emotions as he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from his hometown university on Saturday (11May13). The Tutti Frutti singer, 80, wiped away tears as he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from chiefs at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. A video of some of his hits was played before he was presented with the degree, and university president William D. Underwood praised the singer, real name Richard Wayne Penniman, during the ceremony, saying, "As a youngster he soaked up music in many forms - blues, country, gospel. Music was a part of the fabric of life in his community." Prior to receiving the doctorate, the hitmaker told local paper The Telegraph, "I feel good getting this degree. I appreciate them giving it to me. I have a lot of good friends here in Macon, although they are old now."

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