Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 14:34 UK

Kylie accepts top French honour

Kylie Minogue with parents Carol and Ron
Kylie Minogue was accompanied by her parents Carol and Ron

Pop singer Kylie Minogue has received France's highest cultural honour, the Order of Arts and Letters.

Culture minister Christine Albanel said the Australian star was a "Midas of the international music scene who turns everything she touches into gold".

Minogue begins her latest world tour in Paris on Tuesday, three years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I want to publicly salute the courage you showed by revealing publicly that you had cancer," Ms Albanel said.

"Doctors now even go as far as saying there is a 'Kylie effect' that encourages young women to have regular checks."

'Enormous honour'

The singer, who attended the ceremony with her parents, said she had "fallen in love with France" the first time she visited the country.

Minogue described the award as "an enormous honour".

"I feel so grateful that I have had so many moments in my life that I have experienced and loved that are thanks to this country and the people here," she said.

Previous recipients of the honour include Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood and Uma Thurman.

The Order of Arts and Letters was established to recognise artists and writers who have contributed significantly to the arts in France and throughout the world.

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