The Australian singer will be awarded for her artistic talents and contribution to French culture

By Pearl Barraclough
Updated May 02, 2008 12:30 PM
Credit: PA Photos/Landov

What do Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Meryl Streep and T. S. Elliot have in common? They are considered as artistic as Kylie Minogue.

On May 5, Minogue will join those luminaries when the French government bestows upon her the title of Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Letters – Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters, one of France’s highest cultural awards. Minogue, who turns 40 later this month, will be given the insignia of a knight.

“I am deeply honored to be recognized in this way,” Minogue said in a statement after the honor was announced Friday. “French culture has influenced me greatly and I have always had colossal respect for the arts and people of France.”

Minogue – who dated French actor Oliver Martinez for four years before splitting in February – has spent much time in France, including in 2005, when Martinez stayed at her side during her battle with breast cancer.

The French Minister of Culture and Communications will personally present the award to Minogue for her “contribution to the enrichment of French culture” on Monday. On May 6 she begins her world tour in Paris.