Lionel Richie Calls Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction ‘Holy Grail’

American Idol judge Lionel Richie has been chosen as a 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and he called this honor the “Holy Grail.” Lionel has judged the singing competition for the past five seasons, since it was revived by ABC in 2018. The 72-year-old singer and songwriter rose to fame in the 1970s as the co-lead singer of the Motown and R&B funk band, The Commodores. With that group he wrote and recorded the hit singles, “Easy,” “Sail On,” “Three Times a Lady,” and “Still.” He followed this by writing and producing Kenny Rogers’ number one single “Lady” in 1980. He wrote and recorded the duet “Endless Love” with Diana Ross the following year. In 1982, Lionel’s solo career began with his self-titled album, which has sold over four million copies.

In 1983, Lionel released the album Can’t Slow Down, which became one of the best-selling albums of all-time, and included the singles, “All Night Long (All Night)” and “Hello.” Lionel co-wrote “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson in 1985, a charity single for African hunger relief that sold over 20 million copies. His third album, Dancing on the Ceiling, which was released in 1986, included the singles “Say You, Say Me,” and the title track. Lionel is a legendary singer and performer, winning four Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award, among others. Lionel has also been recognized by the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Kennedy Center Honors, and was awarded the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Related: American Idol: How Many Albums Lionel Richie Has Sold In His Career

Lionel’s latest achievement is becoming a 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee in the performer category, along with Pat Benatar, Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, and Carly Simon. Musicians become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first recording. In an interview with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lionel reacted to his induction saying, “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the Holy Grail as far as I’m concerned in terms of your peers, who you’re in there with, the history, what they all had to go through to get here.” Lionel explained that what he loves about the Hall of Fame is that each artist has a story, and “it’s the music that came out of their stories.”

Lionel shared that when he thinks about his beginnings, “the kid in Alabama, all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he is humbled to think that he could even be on the list of musicians who have been inducted before him. He shared that he knows what all of them went through, “from B.B. King to Chuck Berry, the list goes on.” Lionel said that to be able to join this group is “was a bucket list check right there.” The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lists fellow members Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Diana Ross as his musical influences. Lionel has also inspired the generations of musicians who came after him. The Hall of Fame states that the influence of his “emotive storytelling” can be heard in the music of Babyface, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw, and Ne-Yo.

On American Idol, Lionel has been a wonderful mentor to the young contestants, passing on his artistry and musical knowledge to them with kindness and love. Throughout his storied career, he has impressed audiences with his smooth vocals and incredible songwriting ability. Lionel’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is much deserved.

Next: American Idol: What We Know About Lionel Richie’s $11.2M Beverly Hills Home

American Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

Source: Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame/Instagram, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame