McCartney received France's highest public distinction during a private ceremony before family and friends Saturday at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Britain's The Telegraph reported.
Hollande praised McCartney's contributions to music and also joked he preferred McCartney to John Lennon when he was younger.
"It is such an honour to be awarded this," McCartney said during the ceremony.
The Legion d'Honneur is usually given to French nationals who have served in military or civil life. The honor has three grades: Chevalier, Officer and Commander. McCartney was made an Officer of the Legion d'Honneur.
Campus cop fatally shoots Texas student during traffic stop
Puzzle-maker slips 'Murdoch Is Evil' into Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Telegraph