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Lionel Richie named 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year

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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

MusiCares, the foundation for struggling members of the music community, will honor Lionel Richie as its 2016 MusiCares Person of the Year at an annual gala next February. The organization announced Tuesday that performers including Pharrell Williams, Lady Antebellum, and Luke Bryan will take the stage at the event, slated to coincide with the 2016 Grammys, to celebrate the singer-songwriter’s legacy.

In addition to Richie’s musical career, MusiCares praised his charitable work, which has included addressing AIDS, famine, poverty, human trafficking, and women’s issues. “Each year our MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honors an extraordinary artist and humanitarian,” said Neil Portnow, the foundation’s president and CEO, in a press release. “It is truly a privilege to be paying tribute to Lionel, whose musical gifts and philanthropy have touched millions of people around the world.”

The 26th MusiCares Person of the Year, Richie will join greats such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Barbra Streisand, and Paul McCartney as a recipient of the honor most recently bestowed upon Bob Dylan. “I’m really very proud of this,” Richie said in a statement. “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. […] 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.”

MusiCares will present Richie with the distinction at its gala, to be held in Los Angeles on Saturday, February 13, 2016.

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