London's University of Westminster has awarded veteran label executive and artist manager Keith Harris with an honorary degree.

"While Keith is a leading figure in the music industry, gaining the respect of enormous numbers of musicians and record labels, he's somehow managed to retain his modesty, humanity and devotion to education," said University pro vice-chancellor Professor Simon Jarvis, in bestowing the award of honorary doctor of letters.

"He has tirelessly applied his skills and knowledge to the encouragement and inspiration of young people entering the industry and has had a passionate involvement in higher education."

Harris has enjoyed a noteworthy career in the music industry. After stints at Transatlantic and EMI in the 1970s, Harris went on to serve as chairman of Motown Records U.K., where he worked closely with the label's Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, the Supremes and Stevie Wonder, who he continued to work with as personal manager.

A senior fellow of the University of Westminster School of music film and fashion, Harris has held numerous high-level functions, including the chairmanship of the Music Managers Forum, and current posts as chair of U.K.-based music industry network MusicTank and the African and Caribbean Music Circuit.

A year ago this month, Harris joined collecting society Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) in the then-new role as director of performer affairs.