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Bono receives Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in Paris

U2 singer says honour is 'unspeakably special'

Bono has been presented with France’s highest cultural honour and praised for waging a war "in the name of justice."

The U2 frontman was presented with the Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Culture Minister, Aurelie Filippettu, at a ceremony in Paris.

The award is in recognition of the Irish rock star’s lifelong contribution to music and the arts.

Commenting on Bono’s work, including his high-profile campaigning and fundraising for the world's poor, Mr Filippetti declared: “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.”

But Bono, 53, sought to share the praise, saying: “This is a huge honour for me, but really it belongs to the band. I've got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other.

"Being an Irish Francophile, a student of many great French artists and writers... it is unspeakably special to receive an award from France for being an artist. Thank you.”

Past recipients of the Order include fellow Irishman and poet Seamus Heaney, singer David Bowie, former James Bond actor Sean Connery and music legend Bob Dylan.

Bono received the prestigious French decoration, the Legion d’honneur in 2003 from the then-president Jacques Chirac. He now has quite a collection, including 2005’s Time Magazine Person of the Year and an honorary British Knighthood from 2007.