Luke Bryan is set to honor his friend and idol Lionel Richie during the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors next week. The two are also co-workers now as both have been tapped as judges for ABC’s American Idol reboot premiering in March 2018.
The Georgia native says it’s one of the biggest honors he’s ever had to pay tribute to Lionel on the Kennedy Center Honors. “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,” says Luke.
“I mean 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. One of the biggest honors of my life, and I’m so proud to be a part of it. It’s just going to be an amazingly special moment for me and something that I can look back and go, ‘Wow! How was I in the room on that one?’”
Catch Luke, Lionel, as well as the other honorees Gloria Estefan, Rapper/actor LL Cool J, iconic TV producer Norman Lear and dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, during the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors airing Tuesday (December 26th) beginning at 9pm ET on CBS.