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Lionel Richie to Receive Icon Award at 2022 American Music Awards

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Lionel Richie will receive the Icon Award at the 2022 American Music Awards. Richie, who hosted the show in both 1984 and 1985, at the peak of his career, will take the stage to look back on his most iconic songs and AMA achievements over the years. He will become the only artist to be featured on the AMAs stage in every decade since the show’s inception in 1974.


The Icon Award honors an artist “whose body of work has marked a global influence over the music industry.” Rihanna was the first recipient of the award in 2013.

Hosted by Wayne Brady, the 2022 American Music Awards will air live from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. The show will stream the next day on Hulu.

More than just about any other artist, Richie’s career has played out on the AMAs stage. The show launched in 1974, the same year Richie landed his first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with Commodores’ instrumental hit “Machine Gun.” Richie won his first two AMAs with Commodores and the rest for his solo career. The Icon Award will be his 18th AMA. He holds the record for most wins for music videos (six).

In January 1984 Richie became the first person to solo-host the AMAs. He returned as a solo host the following year for what was surely one of the most memorable nights of his life. He won a then-record six awards that night. And immediately following that night’s telecast, he and many of the other performers on the show headed to A&M Studios in Hollywood to record the humanitarian anthem “We Are the World,” which Richie co-wrote with Michael Jackson.

“I’m immensely grateful for a career that has taken me to places I never imagined that I’d go, from arenas worldwide to studio sets to the AMA stage,” Richie said in a statement. “I can recall one of the first times I got to perform at the AMAs. It was to sing ‘We Are the World’ among the most iconic musicians of my generation, so it is surreal to be receiving this recognition 36 years later.”

“Lionel Richie has had a profound impact on countless people around the world and on the music industry as a whole,” executive producer and showrunner Jesse Collins said in a statement. “From the millions of dollars raised due to ‘We Are the World’ to the global influence his unique sound still has today, Richie is the definition of a living legend and honoring him with the AMAs Icon Award is a no-brainer.”

Richie has received numerous other awards including an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best original song for “Say You, Say Me” and four Grammys, including album of the year for Can’t Slow Down and song of the year for “We Are the World.”

In 2016, Richie was named MusiCares’ Person of the Year and was the recipient of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s top award, the Johnny Mercer Prize. In 2017, Richie received the Kennedy Center Honors and in 2022, was awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Richie has amassed five No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 as a solo artist and two more fronting Commodores. He has landed three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 – Can’t Slow Down (1983), Dancing on the Ceiling (1986) and Tuskegee (2012).

Richie launched his Las Vegas headlining residency show “Lionel Richie – All the Hits” in April 2016. Richie extended his “Back to Las Vegas” residency in 2022 at the Wynn Las Vegas Encore Theater, and will continue the residency into 2023. Richie is currently in the midst of his sixth season as a judge on ABC’s American Idol.

As previously announced, this year’s AMAs will feature performances by Carrie Underwood, Imagine Dragons, J.I.D., P!NK, Tems, Wizkid and Yola. Additional performers will be announced.

Last year’s AMAs stands as the most social telecast of 2021 with 46.5 million interactions, according to the show.

As the world’s largest fan-voted awards show, the AMAs will air globally on both linear and digital platforms in more than 120 countries and territories.

Fan voting is now open via and Twitter in all award categories.

Nominees are based on key fan interactions – as reflected on the Billboard charts – including streaming, album and song sales, radio airplay, and tour grosses. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partner Luminate, and cover the eligibility period of Sept. 24, 2021, through Sept. 22, 2022.

The 2022 American Music Awards are produced by dick clark productions and Jesse Collins Entertainment. Jesse Collins is showrunner and executive producer. Dionne Harmon, Jeannae Rouzan-Clay and Larry Klein are also executive producers.

Tickets are now on sale now at

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