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Electric Light Orchestra star Jeff Lynne made an OBE after eclectic career

The multi-talented musician fused classical arrangements with futuristic rock.

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Jeff Lynne (Yui Mok/PA)

Jeff Lynne (Yui Mok/PA)

Jeff Lynne (Yui Mok/PA)

Best known as co-founder and vocalist of experimental rock group Electric Light Orchestra, Jeff Lynne has had an eclectic career.

The 72-year-old has been made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to music.

He said in a statement to the PA news agency: “I am extremely humbled and grateful to be awarded this honour for my services to music. To be recognised for my work is an extraordinary privilege.”

A singer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer, Lynne was born in 1947 and raised in Shard End, Birmingham.

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Jeff Lynne (Matt Crossick/PA)

Jeff Lynne (Matt Crossick/PA)

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Jeff Lynne (Matt Crossick/PA)

Lynne’s first guitar, a £2 acoustic model, was bought by his father.

In a recent interview, Lynne said he still owns, and occasionally uses, the instrument.

Alongside UB40, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, Lynne is often regarded as one of Birmingham’s greatest musical exports.

He played in a series of bands before founding ELO in 1970 with Roy Wood with drummer Bev Bevan.

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Long-standing collaborator Tom Petty (PA)

Long-standing collaborator Tom Petty (PA)

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Long-standing collaborator Tom Petty (PA)

They fused classical music, Beatles-style pop and futuristic rock visuals, scoring hits with tracks such as Livin’ Thing, Mr Blue Sky, Telephone Line and Evil Woman across the ’70s and ’80s.

In 1986 Lynne lost interest in the band and disbanded the group.

Bevan responded by forming his own splinter group, ELO Part II, which later became the Orchestra.

In 1988, Lynne co-founded the rock supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.

After an ELO reunion in 2000, the band remained dormant until 2014, when Lynne resurrected the group as Jeff Lynne’s ELO.

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Jeff Lynne with his star on Birmingham Walk of Stars (Adam Fradgley/PA)

Jeff Lynne with his star on Birmingham Walk of Stars (Adam Fradgley/PA)

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Jeff Lynne with his star on Birmingham Walk of Stars (Adam Fradgley/PA)

In 2015, the rocker received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He was joined at the Los Angeles ceremony by close friends Traveling Wilburys bandmate Petty and Eagles guitar player Joe Walsh as his star – the 2,548th on the walk – was unveiled.

Only the year before, he had been awarded a star on his hometown’s own walk of fame – the Birmingham Walk of Stars in the city’s Broad Street.

He has three Ivor Novello Awards, which celebrate songwriters and composers, including the award for outstanding services to British music.

Lynne supports Birmingham City football club.

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