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NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 03: Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan perform on CMT Artists Of The Year 2013 at Music City Center on December 3, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT)

Country and R&B aren’t that different. Just consider the 40th Annual Kennedy Honors that aired this week from Washington, D.C.

On hand to honor Lionel Richie was none other than fellow American Idol judge Luke Bryan, who has become close friends with the R&B/pop legend in recent years. “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 year,” Luke recently said through his record label. “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.”

“Penny Lover” & “Sail On”

Luke Bryan Performs Two Lionel Richie Hits At The Kennedy Center Honors

Country music superstar Luke Bryan performs Lionel Richie's "Penny Lover" and "Sail On" at The Kennedy Center Honors. Stream The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on CBS All Access.

Those songs were Lionel’s 1983 smash “Penny Lover” and 1979’s “Sail On.” Check out Luke’s performance above. Lionel joined LL Cool J, Gloria Estefan, TV icon Norman Lear and dancer-choreographer Carmen de Lavallade as this year’s honorees.

Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.