Florence Welch Receives Honorary Fellowship: See Her Moving Speech

By Yashira C.

July 14, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

It's a big day for Florence Welch. The Florence + The Machine frontwoman received an honorary fellowship from the University of the Arts in London today (July 13.)

Florence was previously a student at the university but she dropped out after her foundation year in order to further pursue her music career. At the ceremony, the singer delivered a moving speech: “I didn’t think this would ever happen," she said. “As you can tell, I’m so honored to receive this." She later described her life after school, where rather than pursuing further education she decided to work at a nearby bar. "Rather than applying for any universities at all, I just wanted to be in a band but at that point in my life there really was no band," she continued. "After a year of that and feeling increasingly lost, I tried to apply to art college. I’m so happy that they [took me]. I have to say, without that space to create and dream in that foundation year, and the structure and sanctuary it provided me, I would not be the artist I am today.”

Florence also made sure to speak on the importance of the arts in her speech to her fellow graduates. “With so much talk about what is essential and nonessential over the last few years, the essentialness of art can never be denied,” she said. “It is a life-saving force capable of making sense of the senseless and expressing the un-expressible. Please never forget that as you move out into the world that needs artists now more than ever."

Watch the full speech below:

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