10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didn’t Need No College

Andrew Celani - WODS.com

Graduation season is in full swing. Twenty-somethings around the country will soon receive their college diplomas and venture off into the workforce, with varying degrees of success.

But success is not always measured by college degrees or a high GPA. In fact, some of the greatest minds this world’s ever seen did not receive diplomas, whether high school or college.

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and he only had 3 months of official schooling. Steve Jobs dropped out of college, and so did Bill Gates. The list goes on and on…

School isn’t for everyone and not all of us are brainiacs, so we’ve compiled a Top 10 list of our Favorite Classic Hits Artists Who Didn’t Need No Stinkin’ College!

aretha franklin 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo)

Aretha Franklin

Although being a high school dropout, the Queen of Soul was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Technically it doesn’t count as a college diploma, but in May 2006 she was presented with an honorary doctorate by the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

ap97041005316 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo)

Frank Sinatra

Ol’ Blue Eyes attended high school for only 47 days before being expelled due to his disruptive behavior.

ap8102250471 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo)

Billy Joel

Joel attended but did not graduate high school. During those years he was helping his single mother pay the bills by playing at a piano bar, which interfered with his attendance.

After his senior year, he was still short of the total number of credits he needed to receive his high school diploma. Rather than attend summer school, he decided to quit altogether to begin a career in music.

madonna 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo)

Madonna

The Queen of Pop dropped out of the University of Michigan, where she was studying dance, to move to New York to pursue a singing career. You could say the move paid off for her…

bryan adams 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(Getty Images)

Bryan Adams

The Canadian singer/songwriter dropped out of high school to play nightclub gigs with a number of different bands.

ap830704027 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo/Rene Perez)

Ray Charles

Called by Billy Joel as the “architect of rock n’ roll,” this music pioneer didn’t need no stinkin’ college OR high school for that matter, dropping out at a young age.

ap840228078 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo/Douglas Pizac)

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry left high school in the 11th grade. He would receive his equivalency degree at age 37. Better late than never right?

ap7408020266 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo/WF)

Sonny Bono

The late singer/songwriter/actor would eventually become a U.S. Congressman, which is all the more impressive because he was a high school dropout.

ap9102200129 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo)

Harry Connick Jr.

At the age of 18, he left New Orleans and moved to the Big Apple. He studied at Loyola University, Hunter College, and the Manhattan School of Music, but did not graduate from either of the schools.

etta james 10 Classic Hits Artists Who Didnt Need No College

(AP Photo)

Etta James

She signed as a recording artist when she was still a teenager and never attended college, but we won’t hold that against her.


-Andrew Celani, 103.3 WODS/Boston

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