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Lionel Richie Reflects on ‘Growing Up at the AMAs’ as He Accepts Icon Award (Exclusive)



Lionel Richie has been honored with the prestigious Icon Award at the 2022 American Music Awards.

The 73-year-old singer was honored by longtime friends Smokey Robinson who introduced a package highlighting Richie’s impressive career.

“I’m so honored to be here, giving this award to my brother, my friend,” Robinson told the crowd, lauding Richie as a “legend.” “But before he became all that, I knew him as the guy with the biggest afro in the Commodores.”

“Simply put, there have been few careers that have had as much diversity as Lionel Richie,” he added. “He has mentored and inspired countless musicians.”

When Richie took the stage to accept his award, he marveled at the full-circle moment for his career. 

“I started here, at the AMAs,” he said. “My career, to this day, 40 years later, I’m back at the AMAs.”

“My AMA family started with Dick Clark,” he continued, “then of course from there, my family. I wanna thank my kids, and the mothers of my kids, for keeping my kids together.”

Richie also thanked the friends that have been his support system along the way, before sending a message to the “young superstars” in attendance at this year’s AMAs.

“God has given you a light. That light is special. That light is only given to a few,” he said, urging the audience to do their best to inspire others. “When you hear the word ‘hit,’ that means today. When you hear the word ‘inspiring,’ that means forever. If you get the chance to have that light on you, understand what God has in store.”

Richie’s honor was accompanied by a tribute performance by Stevie Wonder and Charlie Puth, who took the stage for dueling piano performances of Richie’s biggest hits.

ET’s Denny Directo caught up with Richie on the red carpet ahead of his big moment, where he noted how special it was to receive the Icon Award at the AMAs.

“I’m telling you, I grew up here at the AMAs,” he shared. “Part of my whole existence is because Dick Clark gave me a shot. The songs walked in the door. But after that, it became a family. And ABC became a family. And now I’m on American Idol, and they’re family.”

As for how the award has caused him to reflect on his more than 50-year career, Richie offered a few wise words, saying that he felt “very blessed.”

“It’s two things: You can be famous, or you can survive the famous,” he noted. “I survived the famous. So tonight is going to be one of those wonderful cases where I get to sit and enjoy this.”

“Of course, I’ve got more stuff to do,” he added. “When they give you awards like this, you go, ‘Are you saying farewell? I mean, what does this mean?’ This is not the retirement plan. But I mean, come on. It’s really a great time in my life and my family.”

Having longtime friend Stevie Wonder involved in the tribute, Richie said, made him feel extra blessed.

“I mean, when I was in college before I had any notion of being a writer, I was buying Songs in the Key of Life and knowing where I’m going and then all of a sudden, flash, we are now at this tribute,” he reminisced with a laugh. “I mean, Mr. Wonderful — that’s what I call him — we’ve been friends forever. Smokey [Robinson], been friends forever. I’m in this very unique club. And I’m very blessed to know him and when he’s doing this, I mean, you have to understand how I feel.”

The Icon Award is given to an artist whose body of work has made a global influence on the music industry and the world. This award now marks Richie’s 18th AMA. It’s a history-making feat, as he’s now the only artist to take the AMAs stage in every decade since the show’s inception nearly five decades ago. He also holds the record for most music video AMAs, with six.

Richie’s left an indelible mark — and continues to do so — in the music industry, selling more than 125 million albums worldwide as a venerable songwriter and performer, first with the Commodores and the group’s 1979 hit single “Three Times a Lady.”

He’d eventually break off and earn unparalleled stardom as a solo artist with hits like “Endless Love,” “Truly” and “All Night Long (All Night). His track “Endless Love” earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for the 1981 film of the same name. He’d go on to earn an Oscar win (not to mention a Golden Globe) just a few years later for his “Say You, Say Me” track in the 1985 film White Nights.

All in all, the four-time GRAMMY winner has earned a whopping 12 No. 1 hits and 13 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. He’s also collaborated with the best of them, including his late friend Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand. 

“Lionel Richie has had a profound impact on countless people around the world and on the music industry as a whole,” said executive producer and showrunner Jesse Collins. “From the millions of dollars raised due to ‘We Are the World’ to the global influence his unique sound still has today, Richie is the definition of a living legend and honoring him with the AMAs Icon Award is a no-brainer.”


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Sarah Hyland Threatened to Walk Out of Her Own Wedding to Wells Adams If He Didn’t Do This One Thing



Sarah Hyland had specific instructions for Wells Adams on their wedding day. On Monday’s episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, the Modern Family star confirms that she requested that Adams bring the tears during their nuptials. 

“Yes,” Hyland tells Clarkson after she asks her about the moment. “I actually, specifically, verbatim said, ‘If I don’t see you crying when I walk down the aisle, I’m turning around.’ And he did cry.”

Hyland, 32, and Adams, 38, tied the knot during a star-studded ceremony in August. The pair, finally, made it to the altar following a three-year engagement.  

The ceremony, which was held in Santa Barbara, California, was officiated by Hyland’s Modern Family co-star, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who stepped in to officiate when their co-star, Ty Burrell, had a family emergency.  

“So, I sent a text message to Jesse, ’cause we’re obviously very, very close and I was like, ‘Fake TV uncle, real-life friend, Tony Award-winning Jesse Tyler Ferguson, will you marry us?’ And he so graciously did it,” she said of asking the actor to step in.  

Hyland also adds that Ferguson flashed his clergy badge the entire evening. 

Other Modern Family alums in attendance included Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ariel Winter and Nolan Gould. 

Married life has been “amazing” for the Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin star. During a recent chat with ET, Hyland gave an update on life since saying “I do.”  

“Wells and I keep saying we wish we were guests at our own wedding,” Hyland joked, explaining that the celebration was truly wild. Hyland added, “It’s really great. We’re feeling very good about everything. For me, I was like, ‘I feel like a grown-up now!'” 

In October, Adams dished to ET about married life and his and Hyland’s plans when it comes to expanding their family. 

“I think eventually [we want kids], but we’re both so busy right now. I’ve got two shows out right now,” Adams said of Bachelor in Paradise and Best in Dough, before adding of his wife, “She just did Love Island. She’s got [Play-Doh] Squished coming out in November. [Pitch Perfect:] Bumper in Berlin is also coming out pretty soon. She’s got a movie that she’s going to work on I think pretty soon, as well.”

He added, “I think we’re just going to try to focus on work for a little bit and then maybe down the road have a couple kids.”



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Chloë Grace Moretz Got Candid About Having Older Men “Infantilize” Her As A Child Star



Chloë Grace Moretz is getting super candid about her experiences navigating the Hollywood industry as a child star.

Chloë was just 6 when she landed her first movie role in Heart of the Beholder in 2005. The year prior, she briefly featured in the CBS drama series The Guardian.

She gained prominence in the industry at the age of 12 after starring in the hit 2010 film Kick-Ass alongside Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Nicolas Cage.

By 14, had Chloë landed her first leading project with Carrie (2013), in which she played the titular character, Carrie White. She later went on to appear in several popular films, including Neighbors 2 and If I Stay.

But in spite of her years of experience in the industry, Chloë still found herself being “shot down” by others — most of whom, she says, were older men — when trying to bring her ideas to the table.

On the Reign With Josh Smith podcast this week, Chloë, now 25, opened up about having to deal with people on set who were “unhappy with a young woman” in her position.

“It was always odd from my first leading role when I was 14 in Carrie,” she said. “It was always really interesting to see who would be really unhappy with a young woman.”

“At that point, I had already worked for so many years — almost 10 years — and as I continued through having more important roles on set as I grew up, it was always very interesting to see the pushback that I would get from a lot of people,” she went on.

“The majority of it was older men for sure who would infantilize me,” Chloë said. “If I had real things to bring to the table, a lot of the time it would get shot down.”

“It was a really wild power struggle and power dynamic as a young girl who had worked for already 10, 11, 12 years, throughout my teenage years and was the lead of movies, but was still a kid in every sense of the word,” she continued.

“I felt like I was always really fighting against trying to figure out how to conduct myself in a way that I’ll be respected, so I can be respected on set and given the credit that I felt that I deserved,” she said.

“To have a voice in the same game when I’m playing characters that are my age, I’m advocating for female characters of my exact age at the time. And having to even advocate to an older man on behalf of your 14-, 15-, 16-year-old self is a really, really crazy kind of mindfuck,” she added.

Chloë said she learned to be “very sweet” and “back-footed” in how she approached these older men with her ideas.

“It taught me how to propose questions and in a way to make the ideas their ideas, so then it would come back around and be like, ‘Oh my god, what a novel idea that you have on behalf of my character that I totally did not propose to you in no special way,’” she said.

“It was an interesting dynamic and as I grew up and as my characters grew up, I always had to be very sweet and very kind of back-footed in the way that I proposed things, but strong,” she added.

Elsewhere on the podcast, Chloë discussed how she experienced “anxiety and guilt” after getting used to “people-pleasing.” She said, “I always operated for a long time under this guise of what I wanted to achieve outwardly. … Even just in my small groups in my life and people around me, I was just people-pleasing.”

Chloë’s latest comments come just two months after she opened up about struggling with anxiety and body dysmorphia thanks to a “horrific” viral meme about her physique.

The meme, which features an edited photo of Chloë alongside Family Guy character Legs Go All the Way Up Griffin, saw the young actor trending across social media when it was first created in 2016.

“I’ve actually never really talked about this, but there was one meme that really affected me, of me walking into a hotel with a pizza box in my hand,” Chloë told Hunger magazine in September. “And this photo got manipulated into a character from Family Guy with the long legs and the short torso, and it was one of the most widespread memes at the time.”

“Everyone was making fun of my body and I brought it up with someone and they were like, ‘Oh, shut the fuck up, it’s funny,’” she recalled.

Chloë said she became “severely anxious” anytime she was photographed as a result of the public mockery, and she wound up becoming a recluse.

“I basically became a recluse,” she said. “It was great because I got away from the photographers and I was able to be myself, and to have so many experiences that people didn’t photograph, but at the same time, it made me severely anxious when I was photographed. My heart rate would rise and I would hyperventilate.”

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Will Smith explains how he talked to his nephew, 9, about Oscars slap



Will Smith said his infamous slap at the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony was the result of “a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”

In an interview on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” the actor opened up about why he slapped Chris Rock, and how, after the incident, his 9-year-old nephew’s reaction broke his heart.

“We came home, and he had stayed up late to see his Uncle Will,” Smith said. “We’re sitting in my kitchen, and he’s on my lap and he’s holding the Oscar. And he’s just like, ‘Why did you hit that man Uncle Will?'”

“D— it!” Smith recalled of his reaction, wiping away tears. “Why are you trying to Oprah me?”

Smith gave more details from the ceremony, which Noah described as what he thought was “one of the best days of your life and one of the worst days” of Smith’s life.

“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine,” Smith said. “You know, there’s many nuances and, and complexities to it, but at the end of the day, I just lost it.”

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022.Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

“It was a lot of things,” he continued. “It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know, all of that just bubbled up … that’s not who I want to be.”

Smith, who is promoting the film “Emancipation” — his first movie since the troubling incident — said he is afraid the team behind the movie may get denied awards consideration because of his actions.

“These top artists in the world have done some of the best work of their career. And the idea that they might be denied because of me is like…” Smith trails off, before groaning and hitting his head against the desk.

“That is killing me dead,” he added.

Smith slapped Rock after the comedian was on stage at the March 27 Oscars ceremony.

Rock cracked a joke about Smith’s wife’s bald head while presenting an award. Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.

Will Smith, Chris Rock
Will Smith hitting Chris Rock as he spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards.Brian Snyder / Reuters

Smith issued several apologies in the days and weeks following the incident, and resigned from the from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on April 1.

A week later, the Academy banned Smith from all of the organization’s events for 10 years. His resignation and ban do not prevent him from being nominated for or winning future awards.

Rock has performed stand-up shows since the slap, and addressed the controversy during a performance in July.

“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock said, later adding, “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that s— hurt … But I shook that s— off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”

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