June 21, 2018 / 2:51 AM

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Luke Bryan To Perform In Honor Of Lionel Riche At 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors



Lionel Richie was bestowed with an award this holiday season, and his fellow artist Luke Bryan was present to celebrate it with him.

On Tuesday, Dec. 26, the country singer performed one of Richie's songs at the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors as a tribute to the musical icon.

Bryan will appear as a fellow judge with the "Hello" singer in American Idol next year. For his performance, he chose to sing "Penny Lover," a song that Richie released in 1983 as part of the Grammy Award-winning album Can't Slow Down.

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"Nobody, in my opinion, is more deserving than Lionel when you look at his whole body of work as a singer-songwriter, as a band member, as an individual artist, as what he was able to do with charitable stuff through his years," Bryan stated. "Lionel has always been himself and he embodies certainly what the Kennedy Center Honors is looking for, and the fact that I can stand there on that stage and sing songs from my childhood and my life to one of my heroes in that setting is something I will never forget."

The "Light It Up" singer added that his performance at the awards ceremony is one of the highlights of his life and one that he will remember for a long time.

Other recipients of the award include Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, TV producer Norman Lear, and dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade.

"Each of this year's honorees became known to and loved by the world because of their complete originality and bold genius," said Kennedy President Deborah F. Rutter.

The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors was broadcasted on CBS.

Two Different Styles In Harmony

Billboard notes that this is not the first time that Bryan, a country singer, and Richie, a pop singer, teamed up to create good music. They appeared and paired up for a performance at the CMT Artists of the Year. They even won a CMT Music Award for their phenomenal mash-up of "Oh No" and "All Night Long," two of Richie's most popular songs.

Earlier this year, it was also revealed that Bryan, Richie, and Katy Perry are the new judges of the 2018 revival of the popular singing competition, American Idol. Ryan Seacrest will return to host.

The new show has already started holding auditions across the country, but it is not scheduled to air on television until March 2018 on its new home, ABC.


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