Charlie Puth And Stevie Wonder Led A Grand ‘We Are The World’ Tribute To Lionel Richie At The 2022 AMAs

Lionel Richie was a 17-time American Music Award winner entering Sunday night’s (November 20) 2022 AMAs at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater. He added the ultimate prize to his shelf by accepting this year’s Icon Award. The recent Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee was showered with a career’s worth of love during an accompanying tribute performance.

Charlie Puth and Stevie Wonder sat at dueling pianos and tickled the ivories to classic Richie hits, such as “All Night Long (All Night)” before they were joined on stage for a rousing performance of “We Are The World.”

“You know, I remember getting a call from yourself and Michael Jackson when I was in New York,” Wonder said to Richie in the crowd, introducing “We Are The World” and still flawlessly playing piano. He relayed that Richie recruited him to come right away for the collaboration and praised Richie for writing “a song that made it possible for those millions in people in Ethiopia to have food, and it inspired everyone throughout the nation and the world to do the right thing.”

That led directly into the “We Are The World” chorus as Ari Lennox, Dustin Lynch, Jimmie Allen, Melissa Etheridge, Muni Long, Smokey Robinson, and Yola to gather around Wonder’s and Puth’s pianos. (There was also a predictable pan to Taylor Swift dancing in the crowd.) The powerhouse vocalists alternated delivering verses.

“I started out here at the AMAs, and my career to this day, 40 years later, I’m back to the AMAs,” Richie said during his acceptance speech. The 32-time Grammy nominee (and four-time winner) thanked his children, the mothers of his children, his professional families, and then he directed his attention toward “the young superstars.”

“God has given you a light,” he said. “That light is special. That light is only given to a few. When you hear the word ‘hip,’ it means today; when you hear the word ‘inspiring,’ it means forever. If you get a chance to have that light on you, understand what God has in store. He’s not trying to tell you that your car looks great, your clothes look great. He’s trying — he, she, Mother, God is trying to tell you that you are chosen to inspire. Take this opportunity. That light is on you. Inspire. God bless you all. Thank you very much.”

Watch the full speech below.

Charlie Puth is a Warner Music artist. .