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Bob Dylan to finally collect French award

Bob Dylan will on Wednesday finally collect a French award he was almost denied because of his pot-smoking and protesting past, officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Dylan, 72, will emulate Paul McCartney as one of only a handful of foreigners to receive the Legion d’Honneur.

The veteran US singer is in the French capital this week for three nights of concerts.

He was nominated for the award by avowed Dylan fan Aurelie Filippetti, France’s minister of culture.

The nomination was blocked temporarily earlier this year after army general Jean-Louis Georgelin, the Grand Chancellor of the Legion, voiced reservations about Dylan’s use of cannabis and anti-war politics.

Georgelin finally agreed to grant the award after a review of the “chaotic life and lyrics of an exceptional artist who is recognised in his own country and throughout the world as a major singer and a great poet”.

Former Beatle McCartney received the Legion d’Honneur in September 2012.

Established by Napoleon, the Order of the Legion d’Honneur honours individuals who have served France in various ways.

Foreigners do not formally become members of the order but are decorated with the insignia of the legion in recognition of service to France or work that is deemed to uphold the ideals of the country.