Minister of Culture Aurélie Filippetti presented the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters to Bono today, in a ceremony at the Ministry of Culture and Communication in Paris.
The award, which is the highest cultural honour of France, is awarded in recognition of Bono's contribution to music and the arts.
Speaking of Bono today Minister Filippetti said: “Beyond notes and beyond words, you committed yourself and dedicated your fame and career to wage some of the greatest wars of our time. Not for charity’s sake but in the name of Justice.”
Bono said of the award: “This is a huge honour for me, but really it belongs to the band. I've got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other. Being an Irish Francophile, a student of many great French artists and writers… it is unspeakably special to receive an award from France for being an artist. Thank you.”
Previous recipients of the award include: Patti Smith, Václav Havel, David Bowie, Séamus Heaney, Anish Kapoor, T.S. Elliot and Bob Dylan. Today's award follows a 2003 honour, when Bono received the prestigious French decoration, the Legion D’Honneur from the then President Chirac. Other awards include being made Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2005, and an honorary British knighthood in 2007.