Marianne Faithfull Receives Prestigious French Award

Evergreen singer, sometime actress and 60s cultural icon Marianne Faithfull has been awarded the Commandeur of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest cultural honours France can bestow.

Faithfull, who these days splits her time between Paris and Ireland, was awarded the honour in a ceremony at the Le Théâtre du Châtelet during a concert on Tuesday (March 22) by French Minister Minister of Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand.

The award recognises “enrichment of the French cultural inheritance.”, with previous recipients including Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, Michael Caine and TS Eliot.

Faithfull said in a statement, “I went to the ceremony but never thought I would be a recipient,” referring to the occasion she saw her friend, Gallic singer Etienne Daho, awarded Officier of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

“Since I started coming to Paris in 1964 the French have welcomed me and been very loving. I met some very interesting people when I first came here.”

‘Interesting people’ have been a fixture in her life of course, what with affairs with Rolling Stones singers and generally being everywhere where anything was happening in the 60s (the Stones song You Can’t Always Get What You Want is said to be about her).

Faithfull’s last album, her 23rd, was Horses & High Heels, released earlier this year, which she is currently touring. The 64-year-old also revealed last year that she has agreed to have her remarkable life story told in a film, if an appropriate director can be found.


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