Luke Bryan pays tribute to fellow ‘American Idol’ judge and Gershwin Prize recipient Lionel Richie: “Nothing but love”

ABC/Lou Rocco

Luke Bryan was among the many performers who turned out at a ceremony on May 12 honoring Lionel Richie, this year’s recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. PBS aired the event on Tuesday night.

During his time onstage, Luke performed “Lady,” a classic from Lionel’s catalog with a country connection. The song was recorded by Kenny Rogers in 1980, becoming a massive cross-genre hit for both artists.

Before he sang, Luke briefly spoke about his relationship with the honoree. “You know how we all have bad days? I wake up and have a bad day, and then I tell myself, ‘Somewhere, Lionel Richie ain’t having a bad day, so you better have a good day,’” he told the crowd.

“This guy is everything you believe he is, I promise you,” Luke added.

The country superstar also marked the moment on his social media, posting some snapshots of his performance and video of the hug he shared with Lionel after the song.

“I’ve got nothing but love for you [Lionel Richie]!” Luke wrote in the caption of his post. “It was an incredible experience getting to honor you at the #GershwinPrize concert.”

The country genre was well represented during the ceremony, which featured a massive cast of performers from all genres. Garth Brooks and Chris Stapleton were also on hand to tribute the pop legend.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.