Lionel Richie, Sofia Richie
Lionel Richie thinks Sofia Richie’s current relationship will not last. Pictured: Lionel Richie and Sofia Richie attend the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards 2017 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 9, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. Christopher Polk/Getty Images for SAG-AFTRA Foundation


  • Smokey Robinson presented the AMA Icon Award to Lionel Richie at the 2022 AMAs Sunday
  • Richie thanked his family and colleagues and encouraged "young superstars" during his acceptance speech
  • Charlie Puth and Stevie Wonder took turns performing Richie's biggest hits during the show

Lionel Richie made history at the 2022 American Music Awards.

Richie, 73, accepted the AMA Icon Award on Sunday night, making him the only artist to take the AMAs stage in every decade since it began, People reported. The award is "given to an artist whose body of work has made a global influence over the music industry and the world," according to a press release.

The award was presented to him by Smokey Robinson, who jokingly recounted first knowing the "Stuck On You" singer as "the guy with the biggest afro in the Commodores."

"He's had a solo career second to none... Simply put, there have been few careers that have had as much diversity as Lionel Richie," Robinson, 82, said, jokingly adding that they'd each gotten used to signing autographs as the other person as fans often confused them.

In his acceptance speech, Richie thanked his family, colleagues and fans for his award. He also spoke directly to the "young superstars" in the audience and offered unsolicited advice to them.

"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," he said. "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 continued, "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."

Social media users reacted to Richie's award and congratulated him on Twitter.

"Him and Smoky and Stevie [Wonder] were the best part of the entire awards show! That's why I waited till the end to watch," one commented.

"[The AMAs were] so good, and he's an icon in music [and] also an 'American Idol' judge," another added.

"So wonderful," a third person wrote with red rose emojis.

After Richie's speech wrapped, Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth took the stage to pay tribute to him. They each took turns singing portions of Richie's biggest hits on the piano, which Puth jokingly likened to a "musical tennis match of Lionel Richie copyright."

"This is a great night because we're here to honor a great man," Wonder, 72, added.

Wonder covered Richie's "Three Times a Lady," "All Night Long," "Brick House" and "Jesus Is Love." Puth performed "Easy" and "Say You, Say Me."

The pair were eventually joined by Robinson, Melissa Etheridge, Ari Lennox, Jimmie Allen, Yola, Dustin Lynch and Muni Long. They wrapped up the performance with "We Are The World."

Kenny Rogers, pictured with Lionel Richie, came to prominence through his collaboration with Dolly Parton
Kenny Rogers, pictured with Lionel Richie, came to prominence through his collaboration with Dolly Parton GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Rick Diamond