Kylie Minogue honored by Queen Elizabeth

Fri Dec 28, 2007 7:05pm EST
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By Adrian Croft

LONDON (Reuters) - Kylie Minogue, the Australian singer and actress who has battled breast cancer, was honored by Britain's Queen Elizabeth on Saturday, with other awards given to sportsmen, entertainers and businessmen.

Minogue, a former soap star who became one of the world's most famous recording artists, becomes an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the traditional New Year's honors list.

Minogue, famous for hits from "I Should Be So Lucky" to "Can't Get You Out Of My Head," was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2005 and went through surgery and chemotherapy before returning to the stage late last year.

She has sold some 40 million albums around the world, and 12 million viewers tuned this week in to see her star in a special Christmas episode of British television series "Doctor Who."

Sir Ian McKellen, a top Shakespearean actor who gained worldwide fame with film roles such as the wizard Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was made a Companion of Honour under Britain's ancient and complex system of honorary titles.

The government said he was being recognized for his "outstanding achievements as an actor and also for his work in championing the causes of diversity."

The actor, a founder member of gay rights group Stonewall, stepped into a debate in Singapore about decriminalizing homosexual acts when he visited the city state in July.

Other honors for media personalities included a knighthood for veteran British television interviewer Michael Parkinson and lesser awards for sports commentator Desmond Lynam and Ian Anderson, who fronts rock band Jethro Tull.   Continued...

<p>Kylie Minogue sings during a Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, December 11, 2007. REUTERS/Sara Johannessen/Scanpix</p>