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."
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
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.
Copyright 2011 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Related Content from AccessHollywood.com:
VIEW THE PHOTOS: Rock Stars
VIEW THE PHOTOS: Let The 'Games' Begin! Posters For 'The Hunger Games'