The Library of Congress dubbed the iconic multi-Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter, Lionel Richie, the 2022 recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song with an all-star tribute concert in Washington.
The Library of Congress awards the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to an artist whose career exemplifies the influence, effect, and achievement in promoting song as a medium of artistic expression and cultural understanding.
The musician, who was born in 1949, is a mega-hit songwriter known for songs like "Endless Love" and "Hello," and he co-wrote one of the most famous pop anthems in history, "We Are the World," a song by the U.S.A. for Africa.
Lionel Richie performs during the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on April 29, 2022 | Source: Getty Images
Richie's early work with the Commodores is also in his song library, and he wrote number one songs for 11 years in a row while mentoring young artists.
The "Hello" singer, who is grateful for the prize, has produced songs that have become woven into the core of pop music and American culture and has sold more than 125 million albums globally.
LIONEL RICHIE'S RELATIONSHIP HISTORY
The singer, who mastered the music business since the late 1960s, married his college love, Brenda Harvey, who owned a music publishing company in 1975. Amid reports of cheating, the couple finally divorced in 1993 after 18 years of marriage.
Richie married Diane Alexander two years after their divorce. Alexander is the woman his first wife accused him of cheating on her.
Alexander was a dancer for Richie's most prominent music video, "Dancing on the Ceiling." Unfortunately, their marriage did not last; they divorced in 2003 after seven years and two children.
Lionel Richie and Diane Alexander at the Los Angeles premiere of "Ali" on December 12, 2001 | Source: Getty Images
WHO IS LISA PARGI? MEET THE WOMAN WHOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH LIONEL RICHIE CAUSED A GREAT CONTROVERSY
In 2014, Richie found love again with his Switzerland-born model and businesswoman girlfriend, Lisa Parigi, 40 years younger than him.
Being reportedly younger than Richie's eldest daughter, Nicole, fans called out the "All Night Long" singer when he was not happy that his daughter Sofia was dating someone 15 years older than her.
Some of his fans believed that he was hypocritical for being upset by his daughter's actions. In contrast, others revealed that they were ok with the "American Idol" judge's decision to date someone younger.
HOW MANY KIDS DOES LIONEL RICHIE HAVE?
In the mid-1980s, while still married to Harvey, they adopted a young daughter, Nicole Camille Escovedo, now Nicole Richie, because her biological parents could not afford to provide for her.
Nicole is an actress known for her role in the reality series "The Simple Life." In 2008, she created her fashion line, House of Harlow, and married Good Charlotte's Joel Madden in 2010.
Nicole Richie, Lionel Richie, Sofia Richie, and Miles Richie at the Lionel Richie Hand And Footprint Ceremony on March 7, 2018 | Source: Getty Images
On May 27, 1994, Richie and Alexander welcomed their first child, Miles Brockman. He is a model who made his runway debut at New York Fashion Week in 2018.
Richie's youngest child, Sofia, was born on August 24, 1998. She is a model and influencer, has worked with several major fashion brands, and collaborated with her sister on a clothing collection in 2021.