Marianne Faithfull gets French honour

Singer Marianne Faithfull has been made a Commander of the Arts and Letters in France, one of the country's highest cultural honours.

British singer now lives in Paris

British songbird Marianne Faithfull has been made a Commander of the Arts and Letters in France, one of the country's highest cultural honours.

Frédéric Mitterrand, the French Minister of Culture and Communication, bestowed the 64-year-old with the honour in a ceremony in Paris on Tuesday.

Faithfull, who now lives in Paris and Ireland, said she was "very, very grateful to be so honoured."

'I went to the ceremony but never thought I would be a recipient," she said in a statement, referring to the time she attended when her friend, French singer Etienne Daho, was made an officer.

"Since I started coming to Paris in 1964 the French have welcomed me and been very loving. I met some very interesting people when I first came here."

That was the same year she had her first hit, As Tears Go By, written by Mick Jagger, and his Rolling Stones bandmate Keith Richards.

She released a string of hit singles, including This Little Bird, Summer Nights and Come and Stay With Me.

Began dating Mick Jagger

Faithfull's life took a left turn around 1966 when she began a high-profile relationship with Jagger and became addicted to heroin and cocaine.

Struggling with drug abuse through most of the 1970s, she would return to critical acclaim in 1979 with Broken English, which contains what many consider her masterpieces including The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, Working Class Hero and Witches' Song.

In the wake of her musical success, she took acting gigs on stage and screen.

Faithfull, who released an autobiography in 1994, revealed in 2009 that she's agreed to let her life story be told in a film.  She didn't divulge much more, only to say she had found a director she could trust.

She is currently on tour supporting her 23rd album Horses & High Heels.

The Commander of Arts and Letters is given to those who have contributed to the "enrichment of the French cultural inheritance."

Other recipients from the music world include David Bowie, Patti Smith, Van Morrison, Kylie Minogue and Bob Dylan.