Gary Barlow has spoken of his surprise at receiving an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list saying he'd never dreamed he would be given an honour and said: "I'm absolutely thrilled."

The Take That star's OBE recognition comes just days after he put together the triumphant Diamond Jubilee concert for the Queen at Buckingham Palace. He is also at number one with his Jubilee anthem Sing and appears to have become the 'go to' pop star for royal occasions.

gary barlow

He said: "I'm absolutely thrilled and feel very privileged to be in the company of so many brilliant people who I know have received an OBE.

"Growing up I never dreamt that one day I'd be getting one myself. I enjoy every minute of the work I do, with a lot of it being a reward in itself, so for somebody to decide I should get recognised for that is just amazing."

He added: "My family are very proud."

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Gary, 41, has been honoured for his services to the entertainment industry and to charity.

The musician and songwriter has been behind some of the most hummable hits of the past two decades, with chart-topping hits such as Patience, Back For Good and Rule The World.

gary barlow

Barlow, from Frodsham in Cheshire, was interested in music from an early age and began to teach himself the piano from the age of ten.

His songwriting prowess put him in the spotlight in his teens when he featured on BBC1's Pebble Mill At One in a competition to compose a Christmas song, and he went on to perform on the northern club circuit.

His abilities led to manager Nigel Martin-Smith approaching him to front a boy band he was assembling, Take That.

During the group's first flush of success in the early 1990s, they achieved eight UK number one and many top 10 singles, many of them written by Barlow.

Following the group's split in 1996, he initially had huge success but his solo career was eclipsed by that of former bandmate Robbie Williams.

Barlow ended up in the doldrums for several years, and has recalled how he was embarrassed to leave the house on occasion in case he was recognised. He instead focused on writing and production for artists such as Delta Goodrem and Charlotte Church.

The rebirth came when Take That reformed in 2005, a huge success in the charts and as a live draw which took many by surprise.

Last year's Progress tour saw them headlining Wembley Stadium for eight nights.

Barlow, who has collected numerous Ivor Novello songwriting awards, became head judge on The X Factor last year, and has been involved in many other projects such as organising Children In Need concerts and the charity's 2011 single.

He also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2009 for Comic Relief.


Loading Slideshow...
  • Take That lead singer Gary Barlow at the Smash Hits Awards in London, where they won seven categories, including Best Group and Best Single Video.

  • Take That perform on stage at the Brit Awards. L-R; Jason Orange, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald.

  • Gary Barlow London, July 1999 Pic Credit: WENN/ Paul Doyle

  • Gary Barlow Take That performing at the NEC Birmingham Birmingham, England - 26.04.06 Credit: (Mandatory): Danny Clifford/

  • Gary Barlow signs copies of his book 'My Take' at Waterstones London, England - 09.10.06 Credit: Lia Toby / WENN

  • Gary Barlow and Ronan Keating perform a duet together of the song 'Harvest For The World' on stage at the Concert of Hope in aid of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

  • Take That Performing live at a special showcase for their fans to launch their debut album "Take That & Party" The Hippodrome London Credit: (Mandatory): George Chin /

  • Jason Orange, Mark Owen, Gary Barlow and Howard Donald of Take That pose at a signing session for their new Album 'Beautiful World' at HMV on November 27, 2006 in London, England. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)

  • Jason Orange, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald of Take That performing in concert at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London. *** Local Caption *** Jason Orange;Howard Donald;Gary Barlow;Mark Owen

  • Pop group Take That backstage. (l-r) Robbie Williams, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Gary Barlow

  • Singers Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole perform on stage during the Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2012 in London, England. For only the second time in its history the UK celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of a monarch. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have flocked to London to witness the spectacle of the weekend's celebrations. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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