James Taylor has been honored with the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, an award given by the French government to “recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as individuals who have contributed to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.”
The award was established in May of 1957 by the country’s Minister of Culture and is given to French citizens 30 year old and older or foreign artists of any age. There are three grades of the award, Commander (up to 20 awards per year), Officer (up to 60) and Knight or Chevalier (up to 200). It is possible to move up to a higher award after five years with the demonstration of further meritorious activity.
Notable musicians who have previously received awards include:
- Commander – Bob Dylan, Patti Smith
- Officer – Van Morrison, Frederica von Stade
- Knight – Philip Glass, Juanes, Kylie Minogue, Andre Rieu