Marianne Faithfull awarded one of the highest cultural honours
The 64-year-old singer-and-actress - who shot to fame after being discovered by Rolling Stones singer Sir Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards in 1964 - received the Commandeur of L`Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Commander of the Arts and Letters) from French Minister of Culture and Communication Frederic Mitterrand on 22.03.11.
Marianne - who currently divides her time between Paris and Ireland - accepted the accolade for contributing to the enrichment of the French cultural inheritance at Paris` Le Theatre du Chatelet, where she was performing in concert.
While receiving the award, the `Come and Stay With Me` singer thanked the French people for being "welcoming and loving" towards her.
She said: "I am very, very grateful to be so honoured. When a friend, Etienne Daho, was presented with an honour a few years ago I went to the ceremony but never thought I would be a recipient. Since I started coming to Paris in 1964 the French have welcomed me and been very loving.
"I met some very interesting people when I first came here, two of whom were Bruno Coquatrix, the great impresario who ran the Olympia theatre, and his wife, who is still alive and still a friend.
"Every night they would drive to my hotel, the Hotel du Seine in a Citroen DS. I don`t think I`ve ever been more impressed by any other car. It hovered. That is when I remember first falling in love with Paris and I have loved it ever since."
Marianne joins the likes of Bob Dylan, Sir Michael Caine and Clint Eastwood, all of whom have been made Commandeur of L`Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recent years.