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Chely Wright Receiving Honorary Doctorate

Terry Wyatt, Getty Images

Chely Wright will be presented with an honorary doctorate degree from the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri at Kansas City on Saturday (May 13).

It’s yet another prestigious ceremony for Wright, who has received dozens of awards for her music, documentary and charity work over her 20-plus year career. This accolade, an honorary doctorate, is generally presented to individuals who have shown charitable acts and lifetime achievements that benefit their communities, or humanity in general.

Wright’s work with the LGBT community has put her in the spotlight in recent years. In 2010, Wright came out publicly as gay in her autobiography, Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer. Over the span of her career, she has created numerous charities such as Reading, Writing and Rhythm, which helps supply musical equipment and instruments to schools. Another popular charity of Wright’s is the LikeMe organization, which provides assistance, resources and education to LGBT individuals, their family and friends.

She also started a scholarship program, has been the keynote speaker at a variety of events and has performed for deployed troops around the world, including Korea, Kuwait, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Though her largest commercial success came in the late ’90s with hits like “Shut Up and Drive” and “Single White Female,” Wright continues to create music and released her latest, I Am the Rain, in 2016. Currently, Wright is touring across the United States, performing concerts and house parties in support of the album.

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