Lenny Kravitz Honored in Paris

Rocker has been made an Officer of Arts and Letters

December 1, 2011 8:45 AM ET
Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz delivers a speech applauded by French Culture minister Frederic Mitterrand at the Ministry of Culture in Paris, after receiving the award of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Lenny Kravitz was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by French culture minister Frederic Mitterrand at a ceremony in Paris yesterday. While presenting the honor, one of France's highest cultural awards, Mitterrand told the rocker that he had "freed [himself] of the barriers between black and white sound."

When accepting the award, Kravitz noted that he had one of his first big breaks at the Trans Musicales festival in France back in 1989. He said the country believed in his music when he felt misunderstood in his native United States: "In my early days, it didn't work at all in the United States, but that night triggered everything, as if all the good energy was concentrated here."

Photos: Random Notes
Other artists who have been presented with the Order of Arts and Letters honor in the past have included Martin Scorcese, Bob Dylan, George Clooney and Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto.

Lenny Kravitz on Recording His New Album in the Bahamas

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