Lionel Richie will be honored with the Johnny Mercer Award at this June’s Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The award is the Hall’s highest honor and is reserved exclusively for past inductees — Richie has been a member since 1994.
“In our view, Lionel is more than well deserving of this honor as one the greatest and most prolific songwriters and identifiable music voices in our century,” noted co-Chairmen Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. “As a songwriter, Lionel’s songs made you love and dance and will last forever in American culture; but he truly demonstrated the power of songwriting with his masterful co-writing of the global song ‘We Are The World’ with Michael Jackson.”
Richie’s songwriting credits include “Three Times A Lady” and “Easy,” with The Commodores, and solo hits such as “All Night Long (All Night),” “Hello” and “Say You, Say Me.”
Previous recipients of the Mercer Award have included Van Morrison, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Phil Collins, Paul Anka, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel, Paul Simon and Stephen Sondheim, among others.
As previously reported, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, 1960s hitmaker Chip Taylor, Chic principles Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (who died in 1996) and the late Marvin Gaye are among the artists selected to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Sire Records co-founder and chairman Seymour Stein will receive the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award.
The 47th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner will take place at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.