Credited with being the man behind supergroups like Boyz II Men, and having multiple successful businesses, major hit records and sold out shows all over the country, Michael Bivins is a very smart man. So you would never guess that he never received his high school diploma. Well, that all changed for the New Edition and Bel Biv DeVoe member when he walked across the graduation stage at Belmont High School Thursday to receive an honorary degree.
According to WHDH-7, Michael Bivins left school his sophomore year to begin his professional music career. Before that, he would take the bus from Roxbury to Belmont every day as he took part in the METCO program.
After leaving school, Bivens went on to discover, manage, and produce other acts including Another Bad Creation, MC Brains, Boyz II Men, and 702, all of whom were signed to his Motown distributed label Biv 10 Records. He also now serves as the A&R man of both New Edition and BBD. And also served as one of the producers of the hit New Edition Mini-series movie.
But even with all those accolades, one was proudest moments was when he was presented with his honorary diploma from the class of 1986. Putting on the cap and gown, the 49-year-old father of four started to tear up.
“It’s never too late, don’t ever feel like you can’t go back fix something and do something again,” Bivins said. “As long as you have breathe, you can go back and do the same thing and maybe it’ll have a different outcome.”
Many of Bivins loved ones, including his mother, wife, kids and a high school basketball teammate, proudly cheered him on during the ceremony.
Thelma Burns, a former METCO coordinator, said Bivins never lost sight of his education, even after leaving the high school.
“You know, he had to leave school to do this musical thing but he always had education in the back of his mind,” she said.
“To me, Orchard Park in Boston, that’s where the music comes from,” said Bivens. “To be honest, growing up, if music had a good beat and could do my [basketball] drills to it at eight in the morning, it was good. It was the rhythm of the streets growing up.
Let’s take a walk back down memory lane with some of Bivens groups: