M.I.A. has joined the ranks of the Order of the British Empire. During this weekend’s annual Queen’s Birthday Honors, the musician was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.).
The Birthday Honours recognize British citizens for their work in their respective fields. This year, M.I.A. (aka Mathangi Arulpragasam) was dubbed an M.B.E. for her “services to music.” (Elvis Costello was given a one-rank higher membership as an O.B.E.)
In a statement posted to Instagram, M.I.A. dedicated the honor to her mother. “She is one of the 2 women in England who hand stitched these medals for the last 30 years,” she wrote. “No matter how I feel or what I think, my Mother was extremely proud of the job she had. It’s a very unique situation for me where I get to honour her most classiest minimum wage job ever.”
She also included the subtle hashtag “#whomademymedal.”
Read M.I.A’s full M.B.E. statement below.
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I'm honoured to have this honour, as it means alot to my Mother. I want to honour what my mum spent many hours of her life doing! She is one of the 2 women in England who hand stitched these medals for the last 30 years. After receiving asylum my mum and cousin took this job in 1986, because it was the only non English speaking manual labour she could find. She spent her life in England hand sewing 1000s of medals for the Queen. No matter how I feel or what I think , my Mother was extremely proud of the job she had. It's a very unique situation for me where I get to honour her most classiest minimum wage job ever. #TAMIL #UKTAMIL #REFUGEE survival story. #LIFECYCLES. #whomademymedal
Back in December, M.I.A. unloaded “Reload”, a previously unreleased song from her MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. documentary.