M.I.A. accepts MBE award from Prince William

“Today I’m accepting this in honor for my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life.”

January 14, 2020
M.I.A. accepts MBE award from Prince William Yui Mok – WPA Pool/Getty Images  

Last June, M.I.A. was recognized in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, receiving an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). "I'm honored to have this honor," she wrote on Instagram at the time, revealing that her mother and cousin, who came to England from Sri Lanka as a refugee in 1986, were the two people responsible for stitching the awards for the past 30 years.

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On Tuesday, M.I.A. received the award from Prince William and issued a new statement celebrating her mother's service to the country. Read it below:

"Having received this medal means so much on so many levels. My mother a working class refugee who received asylum in England in the Eighties, along with my cousin are the only 2 women responsible for hand stitching these medals for the Palace. They held that position for 30 years. Today I'm accepting this in honor for my mother who worked for minimum wage to give us a better life. 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 fight for those who are silenced or persecuted by others.”

M.I.A. accepts MBE award from Prince William