Huffpost Black Voices

Lenny Kravitz Honored By France With Highest Award

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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.