By Pepper

Luke Bryan is thrilled to have been asked to honor his friend and co-American Idol judge Lionel Richie at the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors this Tuesday.

“One of the biggest honors in our society, I’ve always felt like, have been the Kennedy Center Honors,” Luke says in a statement from his label. “I’ve watched that show for years, and when you look at the people in the past that have been honored, it’s people that have done so much for the arts and culture and music and songs.

“Now my buddy Lionel Richie, his time has come to be honored,” the “Light It Up” singer continues. “Nobody, in my opinion is more deserving than Lionel, when you look at his whole body of work as a singer-songwriter, as a band member, as an individual artist as what he was able to do with charitable stuff through his years. I mean, Lionel has always been himself and he embodies certainly what the Kennedy Center Honors is looking for, and the fact that I can stand there on that stage and sing songs from my childhood and my life to one of my heroes in that setting is something I will never forget.

“One of the biggest honors of my life, and I’m so proud to be a part of it. It’s just going to be an amazingly special moment for me and something that I can look back and go, ‘Wow! How was I in the room on that one?’”

Other honorees this year include Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, TV producer Norman Lear and dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade. The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors air this Tuesday, December 26th, at 9pm ET.


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