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Lionel Richie Named 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year


Paul Drinkwater/NBCLionel Richie will be honored this February as the 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year.

Pharrell Williams and country stars Lady Antebellum and Luke Bryan are among the artists who’ll be paying tribute to the iconic singer/songwriter during a gala event held February 13 in L.A., two nights before the Grammy Awards.

Lionel will receive the honor in recognition of not only his “significant creative accomplishments,” but for his charitable activities over the years, including supporting awareness of AIDS, human rights and famine, campaigning against human trafficking, and donating to the United Negro College Fund.

In a statement, the former Commodores singer said, “I’m really very proud of this. As far as I’m concerned, this is the highest honor in our music business because it means you have a career. You’ve survived the journey, if you will.”

Richie added, “The people who have been there defy categories. When you say Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney — are you kidding me? When I got in this business I wanted to be like them. When you get recognition like this, it’s everything.”

“It really is the top of the mountain when it comes down to what your industry gives as recognition for great work, and the opportunity to help raise funds to sustain MusiCares’ critical safety net of programs for members of the music community is momentous to me,” Lionel finished.

MusiCares provides medical and financial assistance to musicians in need.

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