France Honors Tina Arena

Tina Arena will be awarded one of France’s highest civil decorations, the Ordre national du Mérite (French Order of Merit).

Equivalent to Britain’s knighthood, it is traditionally awarded only to French nationals. The singer lived in Paris for 10 years and has a French partner.

She sold 2 million records in France, recording two albums in French.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will present her with the medal in February.

“I’m looking forward to meeting him, he doesn’t mind the Italians apparently,” said Arena, poking fun at Sarkozy being married to Italian singer-songwriter Carla Bruni.

Although the 41-year-old Arena began her career on an Australian children’s TV show at age 7, she has not been honoured there.