Elton John to receive France’s Legion d’Honneur

Rock legend Elton John is to be awarded France's highest civilian honour this week as he passes through Paris as part of his farewell tour, the French presidency said.

Elton John to receive France's Legion d'Honneur
The Legion d'Honneur award will be presented to the 72-year-old megastar by President Emmanuel Macron during a ceremony at the Elysee Palace in the French capital on Friday. 
The singer, whose life was captured in the searingly honest “Rocketman” biopic that wowed critics at Cannes film festival last month, is not expected to perform although he was expected to use the occasion to promote his charity work.
Although parts of his five-decade career were lived in a hazy whirl of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, the British performer has used his stardom to promote gay rights and AIDS causes and was expected to launch an appeal on behalf of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

His own charity, the Elton John AIDS foundation, was set up in 1992, just months after his friend Freddy Mercury died of the disease. It has since raised more than $400 million (357 million euros).

Macron's office praised him as a “piano virtuoso, melodic genius and a true showman” who was also “one of the first gay artists to have the courage to say it and to give voice to the LGBT community in the media.” 
Last year, the consummate showman announced he would retire after a final global tour, saying he wanted to spend more time with his children.
His “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour kicked off in Pennsylvania in September. 
The three-year extravaganza, which is expected to involve some 300 shows, will see him performing in Lille on Tuesday before taking the show to Paris on Thursday followed by an appearance in Bordeaux and Nimes. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Macron to award London Legion d’Honneur for helping France fight Nazi Germany

France's Emmanuel Macron will head to London in June to present the city with his nation's highest accolade, the Legion d'Honneur, to cement cross-Channel ties even after Britain's exit from the EU.

Macron to award London Legion d'Honneur for helping France fight Nazi Germany
Photos: AFP

“Dear British friends, you are leaving the European Union but you are not leaving Europe,” the president wrote in an open letter published Saturday by The Times of London.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle's dramatic June 18, 1940, appeal from London, where he had escaped with the remnants of France's army, for French citizens to resist while awaiting UK and US help in fighting Nazi Germany.

“The French know what they owe the British, who allowed our Republic to live. I am coming to London in June to award the city the Legion d'Honneur, in tribute to the immense courage of a whole country and people,” Macron wrote.

He also noted that “the UK has been a central player in the European project… a more influential player than the British have often themselves imagined.”

But Macron acknowledged that the uncertainties surrounding Brexit are far from settled, not least the fallout on trade relations.

“Ease of access to the European market will depend on the degree to which the European Union's rules are accepted, because we cannot allow any harmful competition to develop between us,” he said.

The French president was largely alone in acknowledging Britain's official departure from the EU as of midnight (2300 GMT) Friday, ending 47 years of participating in the Continent's project for an “ever-closer union among the
people's of Europe.”

In a television address Friday, he called Brexit a “historic warning sign” indicating that “we need more Europe.”