New Orleans-born musician and actor Harry Connick Jr. will give the commencement address at Loyola University in May, the school announced Monday.
Connick, best known for topping jazz charts and for his work as an “American Idol” judge, will speak to more than 750 Loyola graduates in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
He also will receive an honorary doctorate of music from Loyola, the university where he began his post-secondary academic career.
“Given Harry’s fascinating personal story and astounding international career, we know that our students welcome his advice and insights as they ‘go forth and set the world on fire,’ ” said Loyola’s president, the Rev. Kevin Wildes.
The Recording Industry Association of America ranks Connick, 48, among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the U.S., and he has earned more No. 1 albums than any other artist in the history of U.S. jazz charts.
Connick has released 30 albums, won three Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards, been nominated for two Tony Awards and sold more than 28 million albums.
In addition to his work as a judge on the televised singing competition “American Idol,” he also is known for his philanthropy work related to Musicians’ Village in the Upper 9th Ward, which he founded with fellow New Orleans native and musician Branford Marsalis after Hurricane Katrina.
The village provides homes for musicians and other storm-displaced residents. It also features a recording studio and after-school activities for children.
Loyola’s graduation will be held May 21.
Follow Jessica Williams on Twitter, @jwilliamsNOLA.