Huffpost Black Voices

Lenny Kravitz Honored By France With Highest Award

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LENNY KRAVITZ
U.S. singer Lenny Kravitz, poses after being awarded "Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres", (Officer of Arts and Literature), by French Culture minister Frederic Mitterrand in Paris (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) . | AP

PARIS -- France has paid tribute to Grammy winner Lenny Kravitz with its highest award, the Legion of Honor.

Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand hailed the 47-year-old singer-songwriter at a Paris ceremony on Wednesday, telling him "you freed yourself of the barriers between black and white sound."

Kravitz told The Associated Press that he got his first big break at a 1989 music festival in the western French city of Rennes that transformed his career "overnight." He said "I know it sounds like a fairy tale but it's true."

Kravitz was born to a black mother and white father, and his latest album, "Black and White America," tackles interracial issues – notably what his parents experienced in 1960s New York.