Stevie Wonder lands top French honour
American singer Stevie Wonder has been bestowed with the title of 'Commander of Arts and Letters'. The singer was named a Commander in 1981 but had to wait for 30 years to receive it.Updated: Mar 08, 2010, 17:39 IST
The 59-year-old singer, blind from birth was named a Commander in 1981 but had to wait for 30 years to receive it and officials said scheduling conflicts had delayed his formal decoration, BBC reported online.
He was made a Commander of the Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand who praised the singer as "music's familiar genius".
"As citizen, administrator and culture minister I just called to say we love you," Mitterrand told Wonder. "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 You Are the Sunshine of My Life singer who is the only solo artist to have won twenty-two Grammy Awards, was also in Paris to perform and collect a lifetime achievement prize at the country's biggest musical awards show. "All this in one day, it's almost too much for me. I'm breathless," he added.
The Order of Arts and Letters, instituted during the 1950s is given to artists who have contributed significantly to the arts in France and throughout the world and has been conferred on stars like Roger Moore and Dennis Hopper in the past.