The Foo Fighters frontman sang a cover of Richie's "You Are" with the audience on their feet

By Julie Mazziotta
February 14, 2016 11:50 AM

Lionel Richie: singer, songwriter, muffin man?

At a pre-Grammy Awards tribute for the music legend Saturday night, Dave Grohl had Richie, 66, doubled over laughing as he recounted the tale of a massive basket of muffins Richie sent over – without a card – as Grohl recovered from leg surgery.

Dave Grohl
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“One day my wife comes in the bedroom and says, ‘Wait ’til you see the muffin basket that just showed up!’ So I went in there and this is the biggest muffin basket I have ever seen in my entire life, it was five hundred muffins, this high, that wide, but I didn’t know who it was from!” Grohl, 47, said at MUSICARES’ Person of the Year tribute to Richie in Los Angeles on Saturday. “A couple days later, I get a text from my tour manager that says, ‘Hey, Lionel Richie called and wants to know if you got the muffin basket.’ ”

“So, Lionel, tonight I didn’t bring you a muffin basket, I brought you this,” the Foo Fighters frontman concluded, as he broke into an epic performance of Richie’s hit song “You Are” that brought down the house.

“Thank you for the muffins, Muffin Man!” Grohl added at the end.

Lionel Richie
Larry Busacca/Getty

Host Jimmy Kimmel was in awe of the performance, adding, “One of the guys from Nirvana just sang ‘You Are.’ Those must have been some good muffins.”

Richie took the stage later that night for his own speech.

“If Mozart was black, would he be Mozart? The answer is ‘no,’ because they wouldn’t play him on the radio,” Richie said. “We would never had heard him, but today I stand here to celebrate all of the songs that they told me would ruin my career. I came from an era where there were creative artists, not ‘created’ artists.”

Lionel Richie
Larry Busacca/Getty

“My mission here on Earth is very simple,” Richie continued. “I am here to give a voice to the voiceless and a face to the people who are invisible.”