Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Saturday, 6 March 2010

Stevie Wonder receives top French honour

Stevie Wonder
Wonder was named a Commander of Arts and Letters in 1981

US singer Stevie Wonder has collected one of France's top cultural honours in Paris, 30 years after he was first named to receive it.

The 59-year-old Motown star was made a Commander of the Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand.

Mr Mitterrand praised the singer as "music's familiar genius".

Wonder was named a Commander in 1981, but officials said scheduling conflicts had delayed his formal decoration.

"I receive this honour in memory of my mother and in memory of all of those that have made it possible for me to stand here today," Wonder said.

The singer was also in Paris to perform and collect a lifetime achievement prize at France's biggest musical awards show on Saturday.

"All this in one day, it's almost too much for me. I'm breathless," he added.

Mr Mitterrand told Wonder: "As citizen, administrator and culture minister I just called to say we love you."

Previous recipients of the honour include actors Roger Moore and Dennis Hopper and punk singer Patti Smith.

The Order of Arts and Letters was established in the 1950s to recognise those who have contributed significantly to the arts in France and throughout the world.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Wonder in talks with Glastonbury
03 Feb 10 |  Somerset
Wonder becomes UN peace messenger
03 Dec 09 |  Entertainment
Honour for South Korean actress
10 Oct 09 |  Entertainment
French honour for Dennis Hopper
15 Oct 08 |  Entertainment
Kylie accepts top French honour
05 May 08 |  Entertainment

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific