American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has received the French government’s highest cultural honor, the Legion of Honor.
Aurelie Filippetti, France’s Culture Minister, presented Bob Dylan with his award Nov. 13 during a ceremony in Paris.
The event was off limits to cameras, but it’s been reported that the Filippeti talked about Dylan being an inspiration to the young people of France and a role model for those striving for justice and independence. Her speech paid tribute to the 72-year-old musician’s large body of work and name checked albums and songs from the 1960s hits to the 1990s releases like “Time Out of Mind,” which is home to “Cold Irons Bound.”
The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is given to honor people who have served France in various ways or achievements that uphold the ideals of the country.
Dylan’s honor had been blocked earlier this year with the committee in charge reportedly voicing reservations over his anti-war stance and use of marijuana. But they reconsidered, with the leader going on record as calling Dylan a “tremendous singer and great poet” in a letter to Le Monde, a French newspaper.
Dylan, who did not speak or perform during the ceremony, did say afterward that he was “proud and grateful” to receive the honor. He performed in Paris Thursday, with the tour continuing through the end of November with a show in Luxembourg and 10n more in the United Kingdom.