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Lionel Richie gets key to Alabama hometown, plants trees at “Hello Park” with Luke and Katy

ABC/Eric McCandless

Lionel Richie said “Hello” to his hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama, on Monday, October 2, and he brought fellow American Idol judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan with him.


The three were in town to film for the new season of American Idol, reports AL.com. While they were there, Lionel was given the key to the city by Mayor Lawrence F. Haygood Jr. Lionel, Katy and Luke also took part in a dedication and tree planting in the newly established Hello Park, a green space near Lionel’s alma mater, Tuskegee University. 

The park sits on a plot of land that Lionel’s family owns near the school entrance. Lionel said earlier this year that he decided to turn it into “a place for meditation and a place to reflect” on the area’s rich history.

During the tree planting, Luke jokingly asked if the trees would grow “big enough to hold a deer stand” while Katy literally hugged one of the trees, explaining that she’s from California.

American Idol is also filming in Luke and Katy’s respective hometowns of Leesburg, Georgia, and Santa Barbara, California. The new American Idol season airs next year on ABC.

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