Luke Bryan Sings for Lionel Richie at Kennedy Center Honors - Rolling Stone
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Luke Bryan to Sing for Lionel Richie at Kennedy Center Honors

Country star salutes R&B icon during Tuesday night’s all-star gala from Washington, D.C.

Luke Bryan will take the stage Tuesday night, December 26th, for a special performance in honor of pop icon Lionel Richie. The performance will be part of the 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors event, with Bryan set to sing two of Richie’s hits – “Penny Lover” and “Sail On,” which Richie released as a member of Commodores in 1979.

The Kennedy Center Honors are intended to spotlight the careers of artists whose talent has enriched and shaped American life. This year’s honorees are singer-songwriter Gloria Estefan, TV legend Norman Lear, dancer-choreographer Carmen de Lavallade and rapper-actor LL Cool J.

“Each of this year’s honorees became known to and loved by the world because of their complete originality and bold genius,” says Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “They are creators of the highest order, and as President Kennedy’s living memorial, the Kennedy Center is proud to shine a light on their boundless ‘contributions to the human spirit.'”

Bryan has often cited Richie as a musical hero, and has collaborated with the star frequently over the years. He and Richie won a CMT Music Award in 2014 for their mash-up of Richie’s “Oh No” and “All Night Long.” The pair will reunite as judges on next year’s American Idol reboot.

The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors air Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET on CBS.

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