In addition to being his first platinum-selling album in nearly 30 years, Lionel Richie’s 2012 release Tuskegee was remarkable for illustrating the distinctly broad influence he’s had in popular music. By pairing him with country artists like Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton and Shania Twain on his classic hits, it positioned him as an important figure in country’s ongoing flirtation with more smoothed out, R&B-tinged sounds.
A handful of country’s more soulful purveyors will pay tribute to Richie at the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year benefit gala, scheduled for February 13th in Los Angeles during Grammy Awards week. R&B-influenced belter Chris Stapleton — a multiple Grammy nominee — is the latest to join the lineup, along with stars Rihanna, Dave Grohl, Ellie Goulding, Yolanda Adams, Leon Bridges and Florence Welch.
Previously announced country performers include Luke Bryan — who once sang with Richie at the 2012 CMT Artists of the Year event — and Lady Antebellum. Additional artists paying tribute include Stevie Wonder, Usher, John Legend, Pharell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Demi Lovato and the Roots.
Richie, who has sold over 100 million records worldwide, kicks off his Las Vegas residency Lionel Richie: All the Hits in April. Previous recipients of the MusiCares Person of the Year honor — bestowed to individuals with significant creative achievements and career-long philanthropic efforts — include Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and Aretha Franklin.
The 58th annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS February 15th at 8:00 p.m. ET.