Katie Melua has been awarded Georgia's Medal of Honour in recognition of her efforts to promote her Georgian heritage through her music.
The Closest Thing To Crazy singer was born in 1984 in Kutaisi, Georgia, which was then part of the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of the Georgian Civil War, Melua's family moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland before eventually settling in London.
Now, in respect of her efforts to promote Georgian culture abroad, the star has been given the Order of Honour, which is awarded to citizens who have "devoted themselves, actively participated or displayed heroism" with regards to the nation.
Melua received the award on Tuesday night (20Dec16), after hosting a concert at the Georgian National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Tbilisi together with the Women's Choir from the central Georgian city of Gori.
At the end of the concert, Melua was presented with the medal on stage by Giorgi Abashishvili, the head of the President's Administration.
"This is something serious ... so, thank you very much. I love you all very much. I do hope to come back and hold another concert in Georgia," said Melua as she received the award, according to local news website agenda.ge.
The 32-year-old performed 10 songs with the Women's Choir who feature on her new album In Winter, during the show, which marked her last concert of her European tour.
Melua recorded with the choir in a DIY studio in Georgia after hearing the polyphonic singers - whose tradition is unique to the locale and is included on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage - on the very modern streaming app Spotify.
"Of course it's going back to my roots," Katie said of recording her new album in her homeland. "The precision and the power really fascinated me. And I did feel there was an album to be made about winter that can make you feel the way (Frank) Sinatra and Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline make me feel - warm, nostalgic and comforted."
In Winter, was released in October (16).