Australian singer Tina Arena has been honoured in her adopted France for her contribution to culture and the arts.
The Chains hitmaker, who lives in France and has recorded a number of French language albums, was awarded the prestigious Knighthood of the Order of National Merit at a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday (15Dec11).
Arena is the first Australian to ever receive the award, which is handed out at the discretion of the country's president Nicolas Sarkozy.
The singer tells the Aap, "I'm not French, not at all. I'm absolutely Australian. I'm an Australian citizen receiving a very high accolade by the Republic of France. For me it's not just a recognition for me, it's a recognition that represents the country and for me, it's Australia that wins this. I'm just a vehicle, I'm purely the vehicle."