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Lionel Richie Receives the Icon Award at the AMAs

We’ll just be over here, applauding Lionel Richie all night long…

The legendary singer has received the prestigious Icon Award at the 2022 American Music Awards, recognised for his decades of achievement in the music industry as well as his impact around the world.

And he’s made a little history along the way too! The 73-year-old is the only artist to take the stage every decade since the AMAs began almost 50 years ago.

Fellow legend, Smokey Robinson, presented his “megastar” friend with the award, praising his consistent achievement:

“He’s had a solo career second to none. He’s a singer-songwriter, a television personality, extraordinary. He’s a philanthropist, a humanitarian who has used his platform to help those in need. He’s a legend whose music is played everywhere from Australia to Argentina and all around the world. Simply put, there have been few careers that have had as much diversity as Lionel Richie’s. Over the years he has won 17 American Music Awards and inspired countless musicians.”

Smokey went on to joke about all the times people have gotten the two of them confused, even signing autographs for each other’s fans.

“I sign, ‘Much love, Lionel Richie’, and he has done the same!”

Accepting his special award (taking his tally to 18 AMAs now), Lionel thanked his family and friends before sharing a message for the “young superstars” watching:

“God has given you a light. That light is special, that light is only given to a few. When you hear the word ‘hip,’ it means today. When you hear the word ‘inspiring,’ it means forever. If you get a chance to have that light on you, understand what God has in store. He’s not trying to tell you that your car looks great, your clothes look great. He/she/mother/God is trying to tell you that you are chosen to inspire. Take this opportunity. That light is on you. Inspire.”

Following Lionel’s speech, Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth took to the stage for what Charlie jokingly called a “musical tennis match of Lionel Richie copyright.” They went back and forth singing some of Lionel’s greatest hits!

(Feature Image Credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.

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