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Arts commander Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder received France's top cultural honour at a musical awards ceremony on Saturday (06.03.10) by being made Commander of the Arts and Letters.
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Stevie Wonder has received a top cultural honour from France.

The US star - who was made the Commander of the Arts and Letters at a ceremony in Paris on Saturday (06.03.10) - was handed the lifetime achievement prize for his contribution to music by French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand.

The legendary Motown icon dedicated the award to his mother, who died in 2006.

He said: "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. All this in one day, it's almost too much for me. I'm breathless."

The 59-year-old performer had previously been named a recipient of the award 30 years ago, but the formal declaration had been delayed.

Mitterrand, who handed the honour - given to artists who have made contributions to arts and literature in France - described the singer as "music's familiar genius".

Other stars who have previously been handed the award include actors Roger Moore and Dennis Hopper, South African writer Nadine Gordimer and punk singer Patti Smith.

Posted on 8 Mar 2010 10:00 to category : Band / Celebrity News

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