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Bono receives France’s highest cultural award

Bono receives France’s highest cultural award

Musician Bono, lead singer of the band U2, reacts after being awarded as Commandeur des Arts et lettres (Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters) by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti during a ceremony at the ministry in Paris July 16, 2013. Photo: Reuters/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) – Irish rock star and anti-poverty activist Bono received France’s highest cultural award on Tuesday for his contribution to music while being praised for using his fame to battle for humanitarian causes.

The frontman of the rock band U2 was presented with the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti in a ceremony in Paris.

“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,” Filippetti said in a statement.

Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, said the award was a huge honour but it belonged to the band.

“I’ve got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other,” he said in a statement.

Previous recipients of the award that dates back to 1957 include David Bowie, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Bob Dylan, Bruce Willis and Shakira.

Bono, 53, has received a list of awards for his music and campaigning since forming U2 about 37 years ago, including being a nominee several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2005 he was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and in 2007 he received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth.

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