Sir Elton John is awarded France's highest civilian award by the French President

Access to the comments Comments
By Katy Dartford
Sir Elton John is awarded France's highest civilian award by the French President
Copyright  Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron presented rock legend Sir Elton John with France's highest civilian honour on Friday, the Legion d'Honneur.

The occasion follows Elton's 'farewell tour' in Paris and France's annual Fête de la Musique, and offered a chance for the pair to team up on the fights against AIDS.

The singer met first with French President Macron, who described him as an 'icon' before the two addressed a crowd at the Élysée Palace.

The British rock legend used his acceptance speech to promote his charity work:

"Like music, the fight against AIDS has been my passion for many, many years. And like music, this fight reminds me every day of the extraordinary power of the human spirit and the things that bind us are stronger than those that divide us."

The cause is also very close to Emmanuel Macron's heart and he urged international mobilisation for combating AIDS:

"AIDS still exists, still strikes, and continues to advance. We still have a lot to do to convince (people) that they must protect themselves, that it is not a story of the previous generation but of young people today."

Macron called for a mass mobilisation so that the next meeting of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Lyon, France, in October, will be able to raise over 11 billion euros for its next three years.

The performer's charity, The Elton John AIDS Foundation, which celebrated its 25th-anniversary last year, has generated more than 350 million euros for HIV prevention, education and support.