According to The Hollywood Reporter, the award-winning Commodores frontman was inducted by rocker Lenny Kravitz, who noted how impactful Richie’s music has been, saying, “His songs are the soundtrack of my life, your life, everyone’s life.”
Despite all the artists he’s written and produced for and the countless sing-along hits he’s made, Richie has often been criticized for his music not being Black enough. He addressed this during his speech, saying, “Rock ‘n’ roll is not a color. It is a feeling. It is a vibe. And if we let that vibe come through, this room will grow and grow and grow.”
During an enthusiastic performance, the American Idol judge started things off with his guilty pleasure love song “Hello.” Then he went into the Commodores’ classic “Easy,” on which Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl joined him before finishing his set with the party anthem “All Night Long (All Night).”
If you’re still trying to act like you’re too cool to for Lionel Richie’s music, then you clearly don’t like fun. Seriously, how are you not dancing to “All Night Long?” And don’t pretend “Endless Love” hasn’t been on one of your breakup playlists.
If you need more proof of his legendary status, Richie has just been announced as the recipient of the Icon Award at the 2022 American Music Awards. Per a press release provided to The Root, this is the Oscar-winner’s 18th American Music Award win and he is set to become the only artist to appear on the show in every decade since it began.
At the other end of the music spectrum, Eminem became just the 10th hip-hop artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dr. Dre did the honors, with the “Lose Yourself” rapper calling his mentor and friend “the man who saved my life,” per Billboard.
His star-studded set opened with the hit “My Name Is,” then featured Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler joining him for “Sing for the Moment,” which includes a sample of the group’s classic “Dream On.” Pop singer Ed Sheeran provided vocals on “Stan,” and Em closed things out with “Not Afraid.”
If you want to see the entire ceremony, including the inductions of Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Carly Simon, Harry Belafonte and Dolly Parton, the show airs Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO.