S. Korean rock legend Shin Joong-hyun receives Berklee honorary degree

South Korean rock legend Shin Joong-hyun has received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music -- the first Korean musician to do so -- along with other honorees including Lionel Richie, the faculty said on its website on Monday.

"Berklee President Roger Brown presented honorary doctor of music degrees to music legends Lionel Richie, Lucinda Williams, Todd Rundgren, Neil Portnow and Shin Joong-hyun at a commencement ceremony at the Agganis Arena on Saturday," said the college, located in Boston, Massachusetts.

Shin delivered a solo guitar performance at the annual commencement concert held the previous day, it said.

"Having devoted my entire life to music, I am incredibly honored to receive an honorary degree from the world's best music college," Shin said.

Introducing Shin as the "godfather of rock" in his country, the college said his influence has shaped the direction of pop, rock and soul music.

"Shin Joong-hyun is a musician who helped build the foundation upon which the global success of South Korean popular music rests," Brown said.

He has been a successful songwriter, producer, musician, and activist, who embodies the integrity of the artist, willing to stand up to powerful forces for his beliefs, the president said.

After releasing a solo guitar album under the stage name "Hiky Shin," he launched South Korea's first rock band, Add4, in 1961. He produced the commercially successful album "Nimah" for the group The Pearl Sisters in 1968, which rocketed him to fame in Asia.

Honorary doctorate recipients are recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring contributions to American and international culture. Past awardees include Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Page, Smokey Robinson, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Carole King, Willie Nelson and Placido Domingo.