Bob Dylan received France’s highest cultural award yesterday in Paris, where the culture minister awarded him the Legion of Honor while praising the singer for serving as an inspiration to young people, the BBC reports.
Dylan, who reportedly looked uncomfortable during the speech by Aurelie Filippetti, said afterward that he was “proud and grateful” to receive the award. He’s in France this week on a tour that includes a show tonight in Paris.
A previous bid to give Dylan the award had been blocked by the 17-member committee that approves recipients, reportedly because the rocker’s opposition to the Vietnam War and marijuana use made him unsuitable. The committee reconsidered this spring, with the head of the group lauding Dylan as a “tremendous singer and great poet” in a letter to the French newspaper Le Monde.