Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan open up about their heroes and why they'll always be grateful for their family's sacrifices

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May 13, 2019 05:40 PM

Katy Perry isn’t letting work get in the way of family time.

On Mother’s Day, the pop star brought both her parents — Keith Hudson and Mary Perry — along with her to the American Idol red carpet.

The judge, 34, wore a bralette adorned with faux flowers and matching floral leggings. Her parents were dressed just as colorfully, with mom wearing a bright-blue floral tunic and dad looking sharp in a shimmery blazer.

Katy Perry

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The judge has more in common with her mom than just a daring sense of style; the two are famously close, and Perry described her mom as her hero to PEOPLE backstage.

“My mom is the strongest woman I know, but she does not make a sound,” said Perry. “She’s the last to sit down for dinner every day of my life. The amount of sacrifice that she has made so our family can feel like a family is undeniable.”

Katy Perry's parents, Keith Hudson and Mary Perry
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Lionel Richie, 69, said that his dad, Lionel Brockman Richie Sr., also made immense sacrifices for his family for which he would always be grateful.

Richie grew up during the civil rights movement, and told PEOPLE backstage that it was a tumultuous time for his family, yet Richie Sr. remained loving to his son throughout.

“‘With all the stuff that’s going on, how can you have a sense of humor?’” Richie recalled asking his father, who replied: “Because I didn’t want anything to give you an excuse for not making it.”

The judge continued: “His line over and over again was ‘Failure is not an option.’ And I used him as my example throughout my life, that if my dad can go through what he went through to get me to where the family was, then what I’m doing right now is standing on his shoulders going forward.”

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie
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Luke Bryan, 42, had a longer list of heroes, from his “music teacher in high school” to “the guy that I’d rent my P.A. system from and go load it up and go do a college show.”

But he also emphasized the importance of family, expressing his admiration for his wife Caroline, “for the fact that I have to leave, and she has to keep the household together.”

Joked Richie: “And hold it together, with the kangaroos,” poking fun at Bryan’s recent Christmas present for his wife.

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