Bob Dylan may soon join a few selected honorees of France's most-esteemed award, Legion d'Honneur, after all. He was nominated for the country's highest honor by Culture Minister Aurelie Filipetti. The council's initial response was less positive, but now they have approved it.
Grand chancellor, Jean-Louis Georgelin, confirms the approval, Reuters reports. He says Dylan has all of the necessary qualities to be appointed the highest "Chevalier" distinction. He calls the singer "exceptional artist" known in the United States and internationally as a "tremendous singer and great poet."
Without going into details, Georgelin admits Dylan's nomination was originally rejected due to a so-called "controversy." Rumor has it, the country's 17-member council was not too pleased with Dylan due to his opposition to the Vietnam War, where France had been a former colonial power, and his purported drug use.
Dylan, whose real name in Robert Allen Zimmerman, will join British musician Paul McCartney as a Legion d'Honneur recipient if he decides to accept it. A noted anti-war himself, the former member of The Beatles was made an Officer of the Legion d'Honneur by French President Francois Hollande in 2012. Dylan was given a lower rank of the award in 1990.
Dylan was one of the leading voices in the campaign against American military intervention in Vietnam during the 1960s and 70s. His songs like "Blowing in the Wind" became the anthem for civil rights and anti-war movement back then.
Earlier this month, Dylan was inducted into the U.S. Academy of Arts and Letters. Last year, he received the highest American civilian award from President Barack Obama when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.