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“Melodic genius” Elton John awarded France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’Honneur

The singer was presented with the award by President Emmanuel Macron.

Elton John has been awarded France’s highest civilian award, the Legion d’Honneur.

During a ceremony taking place at the Élysée Palace yesterday (June 21), the British musical icon was presented with the award by President Emmanuel Macron, whose office branded John a “melodic genius” and one of the first gay artists to give a voice to the LGBT community.

Speaking in front of thousands of people packed into the courtyard of the French presidential palace for an event celebrating the annual Fete de la Musique, John used his acceptance speech to promote his charity work.

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“Like music, the fight against AIDS has been my passion for many many years,” John told the crowd. “And like music this fight reminds me every day of the extraordinary power of the human spirit. And that things that bind us are stronger than those that divide us. It is this magical human spirit I will carry with me as a proud member of the Legion d’Honneur.”

The ‘Rocketman’ singer’s charity, The Elton John Aids Foundation, has generated more than £310m for HIV prevention, education and support.

Watch Elton John’s acceptance speech below:

In France as part of his farewell tour, John announced last year that he would be giving up touring to spend more time with his family.

Beginning in the US last September, he will bow out after the massive three-year world tour that will end in 2021. His UK dates are scheduled for 2020.

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Meanwhile, the banning of Elton John biopic Rocketman in Samoa has prompted criticism by human rights activists.

Samoa’s ban of Rocketman was discovered on Monday (June 10), when Apollo Cinemas Samoa, the only movie theatre in the country, cancelled a screening of the film. Human rights activists have criticised the censorship of the movie, referring to it as ‘hypocritical’ being that in Samoan society transgender women are widely accepted.

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