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Benedict Cumberbatch, Lenny Henry and Kevin Spacey also on the honours list

Van Morrison has been knighted by the Queen in her birthday honours.

The 69-year-old Belfast-born singer-songwriter, whose real name is George Ivan Morrison, received the honour yesterday.

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“Throughout my career I have always preferred to let my music speak for me, and it is a huge honour to now have that body of work recognised in this way,” said Van Morrison. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans who have supported me on my musical journey.”

Morrison had previously been awarded an OBE for his contribution to music over the last 50 years, the Telegraph reports.

Also on the Queen’s birthday honours list were comedian Lenny Henry, who was also knighted, and American actor Kevin Spacey, who received an honorary knighthood but will not be allowed to call himself Sir. Actor Benedict Cumberbatch was given a CBE, while footballer Frank Lampard and cricketer James Anderson were both awarded OBEs.