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U2's Bono Receives Prestigious Cultural Honor from France

Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty ImagesU2 frontman Bono received a prestigious honor from the French government on Tuesday in Paris.  The singer, activist and philanthropist was presented with the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters medal by France's Minister of Culture, Aurélie Filippetti, during a ceremony at the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

The award, which is considered France's highest cultural honor, was bestowed on Bono in acknowledgement of his musical and artistic contributions.

"This is a huge honor for me, but really it belongs to the band," Bono said in accepting the award.  "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."

Filippetti, meanwhile, praised the singer for dedicating his "fame and career to wage some of the greatest wars of our time.  Not for charity's sake but in the name of justice."

In 2003, Bono was presented with France's Legion of Honor medal from the country's then-president, Jacques Chirac.  The same prize was bestowed upon Paul McCartney in 2012, while Bob Dylan is expected to be given the honor later this year.

Other music luminaries who have received Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters medals include Dylan, David Bowie and Patti Smith.

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