Lionel Richie won the Gershwin Prize
The famous song “We are the world” . SAM EMERSON/POLARIS
This award recognizes the “outstanding career of an artist whose career reflects a lifetime of achievement in promoting song as a vehicle for musical expression and cultural understanding,” according to the Library of Congress, which established the Gershwin Prize in 2007.
“This is truly the honour of a lifetime, and I am so grateful to receive the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” Richie said in a statement. “I am proud to join all the other previous artists, whom I also admire and whose music I am a fan of.”
Lionel Ritchie co-wrote the single “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson to raise money for famine relief in Africa. Recorded with dozens of celebrities in 1985 (including some future Gershwin Prize winners), it remains one of the best-selling physical singles in history.
Lionel Richie, 72, who has written beautiful songs including “Endless Love,” is responsible for a seemingly endless catalog of hits, including “Lady,” “Truly,” “All Night Long (All Night),” “Penny Lover,” “Stuck on You,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me” and “Dancing on the Ceiling.” He has sold over 125 million albums worldwide and has been a judge on ABC’s American Idol for the past four seasons.
Plans are in place for PBS to broadcast a television tribute concert in Washington, D.C. on May 17, 2022, to mark the occasion.