Tuesday, 2 February 2010

France calls to say it loves Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder has been granted one of France's top cultural honours, the Commander of Arts and Letters award.
The soul legend was given the award by French culture minister Fr�d�ric Mitterrand, and he dedicated it to his mother. "I receive this honour in memory of my mother and in memory of all of those who have made it possible for me to stand here today."
Wonder, said Mitterrand, was "music's familiar genius". Riffing on a Wonder song, he added: "As citizen, administrator and culture minister, I just called to say we love you."
Wonder, 59, whose mother died in 2006, said: "As I was listening to what you were saying, I had a flash in my memory, the memory of 1964, when I came to Paris, France, for the first time. I came with my mother."
Wonder's political activism is well known. He supported Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign and played at his inauguration in the Capitol.
At the Paris ceremony, he did not waste the opportunity to cite France's universal health insurance and Obama's efforts to extend health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.