Grammys: Lionel Richie pays tribute to friend Kenny Rogers in emotional performance of 'Lady'

15 March 2021, 12:08

Lionel Richie pays tribute to late friend Kenny Rogers in emotional performance of 'Lady'
Lionel Richie pays tribute to late friend Kenny Rogers in emotional performance of 'Lady'. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Lionel Richie performed at this year's Grammy Awards with a moving tribute to his longtime friend Kenny Rogers.

Lionel Richie took to the stage on Sunday night (March 14) to sing in honour of his late friend and collaborator, Kenny Rogers.

He sang Kenny's classic ballad 'Lady', which Lionel wrote and changed the careers of both men.

Read more: Lionel Richie pays emotional tribute to late friend Kenny Rogers: ‘I lost one of my closest friends’

The American Idol judge appeared in a long black trenchcoat in front of a background showing various Kenny Rogers images.

"I miss you, Kenny," Lionel said at the end of his performance. "I miss you, man."

'Lady' was the song that saw Lionel Richie make his first steps as a solo artist, after many successful years as lead singer of the Commodores.

The song was sent to Kenny Rogers, and when Lionel played him a demo version, Kenny asked him to finish it specifically for him.

Kenny recorded 'Lady' with Lionel producing in 1980, and it became one of his biggest hits. It also launched Kenny as a country-pop superstar in the 1980s.

It wasn't long before Lionel took that songwriting confidence to new levels, becoming a solo icon in his own right.

Kenny and Lionel were close friends until Kenny died on March 20, 2020, aged 81.