Music

Lionel Richie to receive Harvard humanitarian award for We Are the World song

Lionel Richie is to receive a humanitarian award from Harvard for his song-writing contribution to the 1985 benefit song ‘We Are the World’. Yes he is! Next week in fact, a random 26 years after the event. He’s to receive the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony on Monday! Well, better late than never…

To be fair, the award is also for Richie’s work supporting breast cancer research. Some people might worry that giving the award to Lionel Richie could diminish the stature of humanitarian awards, which in the past have gone to the likes of Chesley Sullenberger, Sharon Stone and James Earl Jones. But supporters of the decision say No! It won’t! And that’s the end of the discussion.

Peter S. Gomes was a preacher, theologian and professor of Christian morals at Harvard Divinity School. His death in 2011 left a hole in the school’s life, but filled a hole in the local churchyard, so it evens out.

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