LOS ANGELES – Artists of all ages, styles and origins have gathered in Los Angeles to pay tribute to the career of Lionel Richie, who was honored as the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year in the run up to the 58th Annual Grammy Awards, to be held Monday.
Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Demi Lovato and John Legend were some of the musicians who performed at the dinner and private event to honor the artist behind hits including “All Night Long” and “Hello.”
On stage, Richie reminisced about his Alabama roots and thanked God for having met the members of The Commodores, his first band, whom he referred to as “brothers” and his “family,” according to his official Twitter account.
Richie also expressed gratitude for the more than $7 million collected in the charity gala and ended the night singing “All Night Long,” surrounded by fellow artists.
The ceremony on Saturday looked back on some of Richie’s best-loved songs, with John Legend performing “Easy,” while Stevie Wonder sang “Three Times Lady.”
Florence Welch belted out “Dancing on the Ceiling,” while Rihanna put her own personal stamp on “Say You, Say Me,” and Dave Grohl performed “You Are.”
Born on June 20, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama, Richie took his first steps in the world of music with R&B band The Commodores.
However, his biggest hits came when he launched his solo career in the 1980s, with bestselling albums including “Lionel Richie” (1982), “Can’t Slow Down” (1983) and “Dancing On the Ceiling” (1986).
Former recipients of the MusiCares Person of the Year award include Tony Bennett, Bono, Phil Collins, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Sting, among others.
The ceremony honoring Richie is part of the events leading up to the prestigious Grammy Awards, which will be held Monday and in which rap artist Kendrick Lamar leads the nominations with 11, followed by Taylor Swift and The Weeknd, who have seven nominations each.