Wonder 'breathless' as he gets French award

March 6, 2010 7:19:03 PM PST
It's taken nearly 30 years, but Stevie Wonder has finally received his medal for being named into France's prestigious National Order of Arts and Letters.

The Motown great was in the French capital to perform and be honored at France's biggest musical awards show Saturday.

Wonder said: "All this in one day, it's almost too much for me. I'm breathless."

Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand riffed off several of the pop star's hits at a Paris ceremony.

"I just called to say 'we love you'," the minister said, referring to the French people.

One of Mitterrand's predecessors in 1981 named Wonder as a "Commander" in the order, its highest rank. Officials said Saturday that scheduling conflicts had delayed Wonder's formal decoration.