In honor of Lionel Richie’s musical legacy, the 2022 American Music Awards enlisted the musical skills of Stevie Wonder, Charlie Puth, Ari Lennox, Muni Long, and more. The artists took the stage after Richie accepted the 2022 Icon Award from Smokie Robinson.
Wonder and Puth began the performance with two separate pianos sitting across from each other. The two musicians went back and forth with melodic banter, playing and singing snippets of some of Lionel Richie’s greatest works.
“This is a great night because we’re here to honor a great man,” Wonder began. “Both myself and Charlie know without question, he’s written so many great songs.”
“Are you suggesting a Lionel Richie music copyright battle,” responded Puth.
To kick off the tribute, Stevie Wonder lent his signature, soulful vocals as he sang Richie and the Commodores’ 1978 single, “Three Times a Lady.” Puth responded with a smooth rendition of “Easy.” The two artists also sang snippets of “Brick House” and “All Night Long.”
After a couple of rounds of their celebratory combat on the keys, Wonder and Puth were joined onstage by Ari Lennox, Muni Long, Yola, Jimmie Allen, Melissa Etheridge, Smokie Norful, and Dustin Lynch to sing his 1985, USA for Africa song, “We Are The World.”
As the collective performed the peace-inspiring song, Richie joined them on stage to show gratitude to Stevie Wonder, Charlie Puth, and others for their harmonic homage.
Watch some clips of the 2022 American Music Awards tribute performance to the icon Lionel Richie below.