M.I.A. Receives MBE Medal From Prince William

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January 14, 2020 | 6:54pm EST

Rapper M.I.A. dedicated a royal honor to her mother on Tuesday (14Jan20) as she was feted by Britain’s Prince William at Buckingham Palace.
The Paper Planes hitmaker was presented with a medal recognizing her as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) at the London investiture ceremony, seven months after she was named on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List for her “services to music”.
After receiving the award, M.I.A., real name Mathangi Arulpragasam, paid tribute to her mom, Kala, who used to stitch the ribbons for the prestigious medals when she first claimed asylum in the U.K. from Sri Lanka.
“Today I’m accepting this in honor for my mother who worked for minimom wage to give us a better life,” M.I.A. said.
“As a working class first generation immigrant, it’s great to be recognized for my contribution,” she added.
“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.”
The 44 year old, an outspoken critic of the British government, had previously revealed her mother’s royal link was the main reason for accepting the honor in the first place.
“No matter how I feel or what I think, my Mother was extremely proud of the job she had,” M.I.A. explained on Instagram at the time of the award news. “It’s a very unique situation for me where I get to honor her most classiest minimom wage job ever (sic).”