Wait, this is crazy. You became a teen idol while living in Williamstown? You’ve somehow managed to blend pop, rock, jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, along with aboriginal folk music and Beijing opera? Your albums have sold millions and millions. You’ve packed venues in more than one hundred cities, from the Bird’s Nest Stadium to the Hollywood Bowl? You have more than 50 million followers on social media? You carried the torch for both the Beijing and London Olympic Games and performed in the Beijing closing ceremony? You have gazed up at diners from the placemats at McDonald’s, and loomed over pedestrians from building-size posters? Inspired by you, swooning middle school girls in Taiwan have formed a Williams College Fan Club? Ang Lee cast you in a movie? You’ve been in films with Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, and Jackie Chan? You’ve been dubbed the King of Chinese Pop, one of the biggest celebrities in Asia, and one of the One Hundred Most Inspiring Asian Americans of All Time? Your stated mission is to bridge east and west through pop culture? You grew up in Rochester? The Mandarin you do all of this in you first learned at Williams? And you developed your chops crooning with The Springstreeters? To borrow one of your album titles: Unbelievable!
I hereby declare you recipient of the honorary degree Doctor of Music, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.
June 5, 2016