Alison Moyet: Being made an MBE is a remarkable 60th birthday surprise

·2-min read

Alison Moyet has described being made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as a “remarkable, happy-making 60th birthday surprise”.

The singer, who celebrates the milestone birthday on June 18, was recognised for services to music after a four-decade career.

Moyet, one of the biggest pop stars of the 1980s, told the PA news agency in a statement: “I have been gifted an MBE on the occasion of the Queen’s Birthday.

Alison Moyet
Chart-topping pop star Alison Moyet has been made an MBE (Ian West/PA)

“A remarkable, happy-making 60th birthday surprise for me. Basildon’s Alf with extra initials. I didn’t see that coming.

“Recognition for a life in music is always unpredictable and humbling. This doesn’t come with a goody bag or gym membership, so I don’t feel too bad a thief. Instead, I think of my grandparents who toiled so that I might prance.

“It makes me proud to be able to attach their history to this. Thank you.”

Moyet began her career in a succession of punk bands before forming synth-pop duo Yazoo with former Depeche Mode musician Vince Clarke in 1981.

Their hits included Don’t Go and Only You.

Alison Moyet
Alison Moyet was one of the biggest pop stars of the 1980s (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Moyet embarked on a solo career following Yazoo’s disbandment in 1983 and a year later her debut album, Alf, went to number one in the UK.

In 1985 she was named British female solo artist at the Brit Awards.

Essex-born Moyet, who has sold more than 23 million records around the world, last released an album in 2017, with Other.

Speaking on Desert Island Discs in 2014, Moyet told how once being accidentally rude to her “idol” Elvis Costello led to a severe struggle with anxiety disorder agoraphobia.

She had been to see him play in Southend and bumped into him at an afterparty.

Moyet told host Kirsty Young: “He was charming and I wanted to say to him ‘you were wonderful’ and had all these wonderful descriptions of him. What came out of my mouth was, ‘You dragged that out a bit, didn’t you?’ Once I did that, I just felt, I don’t trust myself in polite society.”

Moyet said from that point on she felt so bad about the incident she could no longer listen to Costello’s records.

She told the programme she had always been “odd” and credited second husband David Ballard with helping her with mental health struggles.

Moyet was previously married to London firefighter Malcolm Lee, with whom she has a son, while she has a daughter with former partner Kim McCarthy and a daughter with Ballard.

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