After taking a year off, the Library of Congress has announced Lionel Richie will receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, per Variety.
Richie is the Grammy and Oscar winning singer/composer behind hits like “All Night Long (All Night),” “Easy,” “Brick House,” “Hello” and many, many others.
Don’t act like you’ve never been the life of the wedding reception when “All Night Long (All Night)” and “Brick House” come on. And if you’re of a certain age, you have absolutely awkwardly swayed to “Endless Love” at a school dance.
We also need to take a minute and explain to the kids how big of a deal “We Are the World” was. Look, no one is going to claim it was the greatest song ever written, however, getting all those stars together on one song was game-changing in 1985.
“In so many ways, this national honor was made for Lionel Richie, whose music has entertained and inspired us— and helped strengthen our global connections,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in a statement. “Lionel Richie’s unforgettable work has shown us that music can bring us together. Even when we face problems and disagree on issues, songs can show us what we have in common.”
There is currently a tribute concert scheduled to take place March 9 in Washington DC, with PBS planning to air it on May 17 at 9 pm ET.
Previous honorees include Garth Brooks, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett and Smokey Robinson.
Richie is set to return to his Las Vegas Residency at the Wynn Las Vegas for 12 nights beginning Jan. 26. He’s also back as a judge on American Idol, which premieres Season 20 Sunday, Feb. 27.
His honest yet encouraging comments to young singers is the best thing about the new incarnation.
So what is your favorite Lionel Richie song and why is it “Easy?”