The Library of Congress will honor Lionel Richie for his musical achievements in pop with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
Richie will be given the Gershwin Prize during an all-star tribute and concert in Washington, D.C. on March 9, which will be broadcast on PBS on May 17.
“This is truly an honor of a lifetime, and I am so grateful to be receiving the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” said Richie in a statement. “I am proud to be joining all the other previous artists, who I also admire and am a fan of their music.”
Richie joins past recipients of the Gershwin Prize honorees, including Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, and Garth Brooks.
First rising to fame as a founding member of the funk and soul group the Commodores in the 1970s with hits “Easy,” “Three Times a Lady,” and “Still,” Richie transitioned into a solo career in the 1980s with hits “All Night Long,” “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Penny Lover,” “Truly” and “Stuck on You.”
In 1985, Richie also co-wrote the USA for Africa hit “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson.
Throughout his career, Richie has won four Grammy awards, an Oscar, was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2017 and is also set to return for the fifth season as a judge on American Idol.
“Lionel Richie’s unforgettable work has shown us that music can bring us together,” said Carla Hayden of the Librarian of Congress. “Even when we face problems and disagree on issues, songs can show us what we have in common.”
Lionel Richie (Photo: ASCAP)