When you think of celebrities, including pop stars, your mind always tends to think that they earned their fame at a young age and never did any “normal” activities, such as going to school. But there are actually plenty of music stars today that not only went to school, but also earned their college degrees.
Some stars have even gone further than their bachelors degree and have earned their masters or even their Ph.D. The following are four great examples of music stars that have put their education as a priority and have earned their fame with a college degree.
1. Greg Graffin
You may know Greg Graffin as the lead singer of Bad Religion, which gained popularity in the early 80s. But this punk rocker is not your typical rock star. While rocking with the band, Graffin attended UCLA where he double-majored in geology and anthropology. Double-majoring and rock stardom weren’t enough, so he went on to pursue his master’s in geology, and then attended Cornell University where he received his Ph.D. in zoology. Since then, he has lectured and co-taught at both UCLA and Cornell.
2. Brian May
Brian May is mainly known as the guitarist from Queen, but he is also an astrophysicist. He graduated with a BSc degree and ARCS in physics from Imperial College London. Still wanting more from his education, he started working towards earning his Ph.D., but Queen became too popular and he had to drop out. Instead, he co-wrote two scientific research papers and helped to author a few books. In 2007, May re-joined the doctorate program and completed his Ph.D. in astrophysics.
3. Kenny Chesney
Many people believe that country music sensation Kenny Chesney has been strumming his guitar professionally for the majority of his life, but Chesney’s music career didn’t start until after he went to college. Mr. Chesney attended East Tennessee State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in advertising in 1990. After graduation, Chesney packed his bags and headed for Nashville where he played at honky tonk bars until he received his first contract in 1992.
4. Flavor Flav
Every now and then you become surprised by the academic honors that certain celebrities have received, especially if these celebrities have a reputation for being, well, not smart. Flavor Flav has a reputation for being loud, obnoxious and completely unique, and his demeanor has many people assuming he dropped out of school at a very early age. But Flavor Flav, whose real name is William Jonathan Drayton, Jr., was actually considered a musical prodigy, excelling in drums, guitar and piano and self-teaching himself how to play 15 instruments. Although he dropped out of high school in 11th grade, Flavor Flav attended and graduated from both culinary school and Adelphi University. In fact, it was at Adelphi University where he met Chuck D.
This list just goes to show you that some music stars are more than just a good voice and musical talent, and that they take their education seriously.
Lila Robins is the author of several beginner drum books and piano lessons for gifted children, Lila holds a masters degree in classical music.