The SAG-AFTRA Foundation has announced Lionel Richie will be the first recipient of its inaugural Recording Artists Inspiration Award.

The internationally-renowned singer-songwriter, record producer, and philanthropist is being recognized for his career achievements and charitable work. The event takes place Thursday, November 9, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

For decades, Lionel Richie has been an influential and well-respected recording artist, selling over 100 million records. Richie has garnered multiple awards including: four Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award®, and the esteemed Johnny Mercer Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 47th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner. Richie recently joined the judges’ panel for the 2017/2018 season of American Idol.

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Recording Artists Inspiration Award also recognizes Richie’s commitment to charity through his work with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, UNICEF, and The Art of Elysium. Richie was presented with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the United Negro College Fund and he was also a recipient of the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award from Harvard University.

Foundation President JoBeth Williams praised its newest honoree, “Lionel Richie is an American institution. We all know his beautiful music for which he’s been greatly honored, but even more than a legendary recording artist, Lionel is a man of tremendous compassion who’s deeply committed to helping others. We’re proud to recognize his invaluable charitable work.”

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards celebration will also honor Academy Award winning actress Kate Winslet with the Actors Inspiration Award, as well as director/producer Judd Apatow, Academy Award winning director Kathryn Bigelow, and Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos for their roles in supporting actors and performing artists in their careers.

The Patron of the Artists Awards event includes musical performances with ticket sales benefitting the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Sponsors include United Airlines and Variety. To purchase tickets, sponsorship packages and for more information, please visit sagaftra.foundation/patronawards.

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