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December 29, 2007

Kylie Minogue, Ian McKellan gets OBE honor from British government

You know you've made it when the Prime Minister and Queen of England appoint you to Order of the British Empire.

As if she hasn't accomplished enough in her 39 years, Kylie Minogue was granted an OBE on the annual prestigious list as was gay activist and actor Ian McKellan.  The OBE is announced annually, and this is the first list under Gordon Brown's reign as Prime Minister.

“I am almost as surprised as I am honoured to be awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen," Kylie said in a statement from Australia where she is spending the holiday with her family.

“I feel deeply touched to be acknowledged by the UK, my adopted home, in this way," she added.

“This last year I have felt so much love and support from everyone as I took greater steps back into the public domain, and it is with absolute gratitude and joy that I say farewell to 2007 and look forward to what the new year will bring.”

Minogue is still recovering from breast cancer and has just released her latest album, X.

Other award winners included Stuart Rose, the head of the British retailer Marks and Spencer, who was handed a knighthood and "Lord of the Rings" star Ian McKellen.

The award of a Companion of Honour for the 68-year-old British actor, who already has a knighthood and has been a longtime campaigner for gay rights, recognized his efforts to promote "equality."

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