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Paul McCartney decorated with France's highest award
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8 September 2012
PARIS, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Former Beatle Paul McCartney received France's highest public distinction for his contribution to music on Saturday when President Francois Hollande made him an officer of the Legion of Honour in a short ceremony at the presidential palace.
Shortly after the private ceremony during which Hollande joked with McCartney he had preferred the Rolling Stones to the Beatles, the British rock star gave a thumbs up and tweeted his thanks to France.
Created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion of Honour has three grades—chevalier, officer and commander. It carries social status but no money, and recipients have to buy their own medal from a licensed jeweller, with prices ranging from 169 to 700 euros ($210 to $880) for the highest rank.
McCartney, 70, one of the most influential songwriters in the history of popular music, follows in the footsteps of U.S. actors Clint Eastwood and Robert De Niro, and singers Liza Minnelli and Lenny Kravtiz, who have also been decorated with the Legion of Honour.
The musician has already been awarded a knighthood by Britain's Queen Elizabeth. He recently performed in front of the queen and tens of thousands of spectators at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
He first rose to international fame with The Beatles, co-authoring songs such as 'Yesterday', 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Hey Jude', 'Let it be' alongside bandmate John Lennon.
He then went on to forge a solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife Linda. He and Ringo Starr are the only surviving members of the Beatles following the deaths of Lennon and George Harrison.
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Global Good News comment:
On 4 April 2009, former Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr headlined a historic, one-night star-studded concert to benefit the David Lynch Foundation's global initiative to teach one million at-risk youth to meditate. The event, held at the world-famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City, was called 'Change Begins Within'. Joining Paul and Ringo for their first reunion concert in 20 years were Jerry Seinfeld, Sheryl Crowe, Donovan, Moby, Eddie Vedder, and Ben Harper. Several press reports called it 'the musical event of a lifetime'. There was also a Press Conference prior to the event in which Sir Paul and Ringo participated.
Film director David Lynch was also presented with the Legion of Honour during a grand ceremony at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on 1 October 2007. The Legion d'Honneur is France's order of merit, established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. It is the premier order of France, and its award is one of great distinction. The order's motto is Honneur et Patrie (Honour and Fatherland). Dr Lynch viewed this occasion as significant for establishing true invincibility for France.
To watch Change Begins Within event highlights, press conference, and to read more, please see David Lynch Foundation past events: here (Note: Scroll down for 'Paul McCartney headlines benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall')
Transcendental Meditation Blog with video here
NY Times article on Change Begins Within: here
David Lynch Foundation: here
Read about David Lynch receiving his award at Global Good News here: here
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