Brazilian artist Gilberto Gil, who also serves as minister of culture for his country, was bestowed with France’s highest hounour yesterday (Oct. 16) when he received the medal of grand officer in the order of the Légion d’honneur.
Gil received the honor from his French counterpart Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres during a ceremony at the ministry of culture in Paris.
Donnedieu de Vabres said Gil was “one of the world’s greatest musicians.” He added, “We are honoring today an immense artist, the kid from Salvador de Bahia, and the human rights activist who experienced prison and exile.”
Gil was born in 1942 in the Northern town of Bahia. He was forced to quit the country and settle in London between 1969 and 1979 when his country was under military dictatorship.
He was appointed Brazil’s minister of culture in 2003 after the election of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Despite his government position, he still continues to record and perform as a musician.