France on Monday awarded Kylie Minogue its highest cultural honour in a Paris ceremony at which the country's culture minister praised the Australian singer for her battle against breast cancer. Christine Albanel gave Minogue, who kicks off a European concert tour in Paris on Tuesday, the Order of Arts and Letters and told her she was a "Midas of the international music scene who turns everything she touches into gold." "I want to publicly salute the courage you showed by revealing publicly that you had breast cancer," Albanel said. "Doctors now even go as far as saying there is a 'Kylie effect' that encourages young women to have regular checks." Minogue, who attended the ceremony along with her parents, said she had "fallen in love with France" since her first visit here. Past recipients of the French award include singers Bob Dylan and David Bowie and Hollywood stars George Clooney, Leonardo Di Caprio, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Bruce Willis. Minogue was in December decorated in the British Queen Elizabeth II's New Year Honours List. The singer was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the annual list.
Here are a couple photos of Kylie waving to her assembled fans from the balcony of the French Culture Ministry just after her award ceremony and a couple as she exited the building:
Photo credit: Splash News
Woot! Much congrats and love to Kylie on this latest accomplishment. She is truly an inspiration and is obvs much-loved by the entire world ... even the US (trust me, there are legions of Kylie fans here even if the country as a whole has yet to take notice). I am *very* excited for the first news from tomorrow's kick-off KylieX2008 show in Paris ... spoilers or no, I will not be able to stay away from the first press photos that will be released from the show. Again, I say, Woot!! [Source]