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Ever wonder what pop's biggest stars would look like with a Skrillex 'do? So do we.

  • Rihanna: Oh, Ri-Ri, we love the way your hair lies with this 'do.

Last evening's (Feb. 13) salute to MusiCares Person of the Year Lionel Richie not only celebrated the legendary artist’s musical milestones—but also a record-breaking milestone for the organization itself. The annual Grammy Week fete raised more than $7 million as Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, Chris Stapleton, Tori Kelly and more rocked the rafters of a packed Los Angeles Convention Center.

Grammys 2016: Complete Coverage

Singing Richie’s praises earlier on the red carpet, songwriter/producer Desmond Child told Billboard, “Lionel doesn’t seem to write anything but classics. I’m so jealous. I’ve written a couple, but everything he touches is gold.” Added fellow songwriter/producer and Verve Records chairman David Foster, “I’m a guy that writes songs that the world knows. Lionel is a guy that writes songs that the world sings and there’s a big difference.”

Lenny Kravitz kicked off the proceedings inside with a rousing cover of “Running With the Night.” Then host Jimmy Kimmel set the comedic tone as he strode onstage in a V-necked white jumpsuit and large Afro wig, referencing Richie’s early start with the Commodores. “Lionel had a dream,” Kimmel told a star-studded audience that included Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Sharon Stone, Gayle King, Rita Wilson, David Crosby, Paul Anka and politician Nancy Pelosi. “And we’re going to live that dream all night long.”

Over the next three hours, everyone did just that. Chris Stapleton turned in a riveting interpretation of “Lady,” while Rihanna won rapt attention with a moving cover of “Say You Say Me.” Additional favorites that had the audience singing along and dancing in the aisles: Usher (“Lady [You Bring Me Up”]), John Legend (“Easy”), a medley of hits including “Brick House” featuring the Roots, Pharrell and others, Stevie Wonder (“Three Times a Lady”) and Yolanda Adams (“Jesus Is Love”). The evening’s biggest surprise: rocker Dave Grohl nailing “You Are.”

Lionel Richie Shares Hilarious Tale of Writing 'We Are the World' With Michael Jackson

Integrated throughout the program were various video clips dating back to the Commodores’ 1974 hit “Machine Gun” and moving forward to “We Are the World.” Watching the latter from an aisle offstage, Kimmel was overheard saying, “This is the best part,” prior to Huey Lewis singing the refrain, then noted that Cyndi Lauper “kills it” during her part of the song.

Friend Kevin Spacey presented the award to Richie, who movingly thanked his family as well as Motown and the Commodores (“Thank God for the Commodores because without the Commodores I would not be Lionel Richie. They are still my brothers”). On going solo, he recalled, “The saying was ‘Lionel Richie crossed over and can’t get black.’

“Today I’m standing here celebrating all the songs they told me would ruin my career,” he continued to hearty applause. “But the most important part of this evening is that we’re not celebrating me. We’re celebrating your generosity. We are our brother’s keeper. If you have anything in this world to give, give it all because you take nothing with you.”

With additional reporting by Melinda Newman.

"HARD-WORKING, HARD-TOURING pop/metal outfit has built a strong core audience and now has a breakthrough album … An exceptionally strong album that should take the band all the way."

That's how Billboard praised Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet in the Sept. 6, 1986, issue, ahead of the set's debut on the Billboard 200 the following week. The critique would soon prove accurate: the album became the New Jersey band's first of five Billboard 200 No. 1s, as well as its longest-leading (eight weeks) and top-seller (12 million copies in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America). Previously, the group had reached No. 43 with its eponymous 1984 debut LP and No. 37 with 1985's 7800 Degrees Farenheit.

Slippery When Wet likewise established Bon Jovi as force on the Billboard Hot 100, as lead single "You Give Love a Bad Name" topped the Nov. 29, 1986 tally (besting the band's prior high of No. 39, set by its debut 1984 hit "Runaway"). Follow-up "Livin' on a Prayer" took the band to further heights, reigning for four frames beginning Feb. 14, 1987, marking the act's longest-ruling of four No. 1s to date. The smash's legacy remains strong nearly three decades later (symbolically realizing the aspirations of its lyrical principals, Tommy and Gina), having become Bon Jovi's signature song. It even re-entered the Hot 100 (at No. 25) for a week in 2013 thanks to its synch in a user-generated viral video.

Meanwhile, "Name" and "Prayer" co-writer Desmond Child, who penned both songs with the band's Jon Bon Jovi and (since departed member) Richie Sambora, has likewise enjoyed subsequent success, co-authoring, along with other Bon Jovi hits, Ricky Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca" and Katy Perry's "Waking Up in Vegas."

In August 2015, Bon Jovi parted ways with Mercury Records after 32 years. Still, the group hopes to release a new album, perhaps independently, in 2016. "I have a lot of material to write about," Jon Bon Jovi told Billboard last year. "The new record is good. It's something we are going to be very proud of."


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