Who else could they have gotten to honor Kenny but his longtime friend and the writer of one of his biggest hits, Lionel Richie.
During the “In Memoriam” segment of the show, Richie delivered a touching tribute to Kenny with a performance of “Lady,” the song written by Richie that had been turned down by his own band, the Commodores. Richie eventually pitched what he had of the song (originally called “Baby”) to Kenny, who asked Richie to finish the song so that he could record it.
After Richie finished the song in a bathroom at the studio the day Kenny was set to record it, “Lady” would eventually go on to become one Kenny’s biggest songs, and would also launch a friendship with Lionel Richie that lasted until Kenny’s death on March 20, 2020.
When I wrote “Lady“ for @_KennyRogers, little did I know it would be the start of a friendship that would last a lifetime. Singing this song at the #Grammys tonight, without Kenny there, was incredibly hard.