Hello, Lionel Richie -- it's you they're looking for.
MusiCares announced Tuesday that Richie, the veteran pop and soul singer and songwriter, will be honored as the aid organization's 2016 Person of the Year at its annual benefit gala Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.
The award, meant to recognize creative accomplishments and charitable work, is one of the music industry's most prestigious; previous recipients include Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney and Aretha Franklin. In a statement issued by the MusiCares Foundation, which seeks to help musicians in financial or medical need, Richie was hailed for his support of causes "ranging from AIDS and human rights to famine, poverty, human trafficking and women's issues."
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"Each year our MusiCares Person of the Year tribute honors an extraordinary artist and humanitarian who lends their considerable time and talents to raising the funds necessary to continue to meet the ever-increasing need for our programs and services," said MusiCares chief Neil Portnow in the statement. "And it is truly a privilege to be paying tribute to Lionel, whose musical gifts and philanthropy have touched millions of people around the world."
Richie, known for hits such as "Hello," "All Night Long (All Night)" and "Stuck on You," said the award "means you have a career. You've survived the journey, if you will. The people who have been there defy categories. When you say Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney — are you kidding me? When I got in this business I wanted to be like them. When you get recognition like this, it's everything."
Traditionally held two nights before the Grammy Awards ceremony, the annual benefit features an all-star concert in which artists perform songs by that year's honoree. Luke Bryan, Pharrell Williams and Lady Antebellum will appear in February, along with other acts yet to be announced.
At this year's ceremony, which recognized Bob Dylan, the cantankerous singer-songwriter made waves by delivering a rambling speech in which he reflected frankly on his work and others' reaction to it.