Lionel Richie showcases important legacy of his hometown of Tuskegee on ‘American Idol’

Lionel Richie showcases important legacy of his hometown of Tuskegee on ‘American Idol’ - World - News

Legendary Musician Lionel Richie Returns to His Roots in Tuskegee, Alabama, on “American Idol”

For iconic musician Lionel Richie, there’s no place like home. This historic town in Alabama holds a significant place in the singer’s heart, and he has brought his “American Idol” judging colleagues Katy Perry and Luke Bryan to Tuskegee to experience its rich history and significance. In a new episode of the popular singing competition series, Richie takes his costars on a journey to explore the town where he was born and raised.

The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen

Richie shared an exclusive clip with News Finder, revealing that he was born and raised among the Tuskegee Airmen. These pioneering Black aviators courageously fought in World War II at a time when racial integration was unheard of in the military. Before World War II, Black Americans were prohibited from becoming aviators in the armed forces. However, the US Army Air Corps established an experimental training program for African American pilots at Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama, which later came to be known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

Welcome to Tuskegee

In the “American Idol” clip, Perry, Bryan, and Richie arrive in Tuskegee and are welcomed by uniformed military personnel who present each judge with a custom leather aviator jacket. The trio then explores the campus of Tuskegee University, where they receive a warm welcome from students, cheerleaders, and the marching band.

Discovering the Roots of Black America

During an interview with “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts in 2023, Richie expressed his excitement about bringing Perry and Bryan, along with the show, to his hometown. He shared his hope that this experience would help his colleagues better understand the history of another facet of Black America that isn’t often discussed or highlighted.

From Tuskegee to “American Idol”

Despite achieving great success as a musician, Richie considers Tuskegee to be more than just a place connected to music for him. In the episode’s clip, he reflects on his return to Tuskegee and shares that the town was “as far away from music as you could possibly think of” for him.

Revisiting Tuskegee: The Album

Richie brought his music closer to home in 2012 when he released the 10th studio album, “Tuskegee,” which features collaborations with various country artists performing his classic hits. In the clip, Richie shares that coming back to Tuskegee was an emotional experience, stating, “It was just one of those moments where I had to kind of reflect.”

A Homecoming on American Idol

The full episode of “American Idol” featuring Lionel Richie’s homecoming to Tuskegee will air on Sunday, [current_date], at 8 p.m. in the viewer’s timezone on ABC.