Lionel Richie Pays Tribute To The Late Kenny Rogers With Performance Of ‘Lady’ During 2021 GRAMMYs

Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy of CBS
Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy of CBS
Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy of CBS

Lionel Richie paid tribute to the late country icon Kenny Rogers during the 63rd annual GRAMMYs on Sunday, March 14.

Richie gave a beautiful performance of “Lady,” the 1980 hit that he wrote and produced for Rogers. The American Idol judge performed the hit song beneath a spotlight on a dark stage, as photos of Rogers were displayed behind him.

“I miss you Kenny, I miss you man,” Richie concluded the set.

Watch the full tribute performance below.

Following the emotion-filled performance, the singer admitted that singing the song “without Kenny there, was incredible hard.”

Rogers died from natural causes earlier this year on March 20 at age 81.

The country icon is best known for being the voice behind such genre-bending hits as “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream,” and “Lucille,” among others. A multi-talented star, his career moved beyond the stage to the small screen as he starred in popular TV movies based on “The Gambler” and other songs. Rogers also ventured into other endeavors throughout his career, becoming a co-founder of the restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters as well as the author behind book releases, including his autobiography, “Making It With Music.”

A decorated artist, Rogers has won a total of six CMA Awards and three Grammys throughout his 60-year career. In 2013, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association that same year.

Richie’s performance was part of the in memoriam segment that also honored Bill Withers, K.T. Oslin, Eddie Van Halen, Bonnie Pointer, Charlie Daniels, John Prine, Jan Howard, Little Richard, Gerry Marsden and Charley Pride. 

The 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards also featured performances from Bad Bunny, Miranda Lambert, Black Pumas, BTS, Brandi Carlile, DaBaby, Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, HAIM, Brittany Howard, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, Mickey Guyton, Maren Morris, Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, John Mayer, Roddy Ricch, Harry Styles, and Taylor Swift.

Hosted by Trevor Noah, “Music’s Biggest Night” aired on Sunday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS Television Network and also available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.