Lionel Richie offered advice to the “young superstars” at the American Music Awards (AMAs) as he picked up the Icon Award at Sunday’s (20.11.22) ceremony.
The 73-year-old singer made history as he became the only artist to take to the stage at the event in every decade since the show began when he accepted the accolade from Smokey Robinson and he called on the current generation of artists to use their time in the spotlight to “inspire”.
Speaking on stage at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater, he said: “I started out here at the AMAs. And my career, to this day 40 years later, I’m back at the AMAs.
“What I want to say and take this time to do is to talk to the young superstars. God has given you a light. That light is special, that light is only given to a few.
“When you hear the word ‘hip,’ it means today. When you hear the word ‘inspiring,’ it means forever. If you get a chance to have that light on you, understand what God has in store.
“He’s not trying to tell you that your car looks great, your clothes look great. He/she/mother/God is trying to tell you that you are chosen to inspire. Take this opportunity. That light is on you. Inspire.”
After the ‘Easy’ singer finished his speech, Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth took to the stage for a performance which the younger artist jokingly described as a “musical tennis match of Lionel Richie copyright.”
The pair took turns to sing snippets of Lionel’s biggest hits at the piano, with Stevie, 72, noting: “This is a great night because we’re here to honour a great man.”
The ‘Superstition’ hitmaker covered the likes of ‘Three Times A Lady’, ‘All Night Long (All Night)’, ‘Brick House’, and ‘Jesus is Love’, while the 30-year-old singer tackled ‘Easy’, and ‘Say You, Say Me’.
They were then joined on stage by a host of other artists, including Smokey, Melissa Etheridge, Ari Lennox, Jimmie Allen, Yola, Dustin Lynch and Muni Long for a finale of ‘We Are The World’.
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