This morning (January 14), M.I.A. was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), as The Associated Press notes. She received the honor from Prince William at Buckingham Palace as part of the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours.
In a statement, M.I.A. explained that she accepted the medal in tribute to her mother. “Today I’m accepting this in honour for my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life,” she wrote. “As a working class first generation immigrant it’s great to be recognised for my contribution. Having freedom to speak my truth and to do it through music has helped me speak for those who do not have those privileges. I will continue [to] fight for those who are silenced or persecuted by others.” Find the statement below.
M.I.A.’s most recent album AIM was released in 2016. Last November, she performed outside the UK Government’s Home Office in protest of the possible extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States.