Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Van Morrison 'delighted' at honour

Van Morrison will play a free concert in Belfast

Van Morrison said he was "honoured and delighted" to have been granted the freedom of his native Belfast as it was announced he will play a free concert in the city to mark the accolade.

The 68-year-old musician will perform for fans in November after being awarded the civic title at Belfast's Ulster Hall.

City councillors voted unanimously to bestow the honour on Morrison earlier this week.

"Belfast is my home. It is where I first heard the music that influenced and inspired me, it is where I first performed and it is somewhere I have referred back to many times in my songwriting over the past 50 years," said the singer songwriter.

"I am delighted and honoured to receive the freedom of the city."

The conferment ceremony and concert has been billed as the highlight of the fourth annual Belfast Music Week.

Morrison, a shipyard worker's son, is only the second person in 10 years to receive the accolade - the highest a council can bestow.

Known to fans across the world as "Van the Man", Morrison has drawn inspiration from streets where he was born and raised for hits such as Cyprus Avenue and On Hyndford Street.

During his 50-year music career Morrison has risen from the Irish showband scene to global stardom winning six Grammy Awards, a Brit as well as places in both the Rock and Roll and the Songwriters Halls of Fame.

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