Lionel Richie torn about attending Kennedy Center honors at the WH


On Tuesday, Lionel Richie admitted to the Today Show that he was considering not going to the Kennedy Center honors reception at the White House in December.

The annual John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts gala at the end of the year honors artists and others who have contributes to American culture, but while Richie is one of this year's honorees, he simply doesn't think he wants to go to the White House.

"I'm going to just play it by ear," he explained. "I must tell you, I'm not really happy as to what's going on right now with the controversies. They're weekly, daily, hourly. But I think I'm just gonna wait it out for a minute, see where it's going to be by that time."

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Lionel Richie out and about
DULUTH, GA - AUGUST 13: Singer Lionel Richie performs in concert at Infinite Energy Arena on August 13, 2017 in Duluth, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/WireImage)
DULUTH, GA - AUGUST 13: Lionel Richie performs at Infinite Energy Arena on August 13, 2017 in Duluth, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - JULY 22: Lionel Richie performs on the 'All The Hits Tour' at Golden 1 Center on July 22, 2017 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 21: Singer/songwriter Lionel Richie (C) performs on the opening night of the All the Hits Tour at ORACLE Arena on July 21, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Live Nation )
PORTSMOUTH, VA - JUNE 29: Recording artist Lionel Richie performs live at Portsmouth Pavilion on June 29, 2017 in Portsmouth, Virginia. (Photo by David A. Beloff/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 22: Jenna Dewan Tatum and Lionel Richie chat with James Corden during 'The Late Late Show with James Corden,' Monday, May 22, 2017 (12:35 PM-1:37 AM ET/PT) On The CBS Television Network. (Photo by Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 13: Lionel Richie walks to the stage in the procession during the Berklee College of Music commencement at Agganis Arena in Boston on May 13, 2017. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 12: Lionel Richie attends the Berklee College of Music Commencement Concert at Agganis Arena at Boston University on Friday, May 12, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Lucinda Williams, Shin Joong Hyun, Lionel Richie, Todd Rundgren and Neil Portnow are set to receive Honorary Degrees on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from Berklee College of Music. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 09: Stevie Wonder (L) and Lionel Richie perform at Stevie's 20th Annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert at Microsoft Theater on December 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Wonder Productions, Inc.)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 15: Singer, songwriter, actor and record producer, Lionel Richie attends Philly Fights Cancer: Round 2 at Legacy Youth Tennis Organization on October 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 06: Lionel Richie attends PHOTO16 presented by Milk Studios Auction of Photography Works to Raise Funds for The AIDS Monument in West Hollywood at Milk Studios on October 6, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 02: Lionel Richie and his daughter Sofia Richie are seen on September 02, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by BG001/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 20: Lionel Richie performs onstage at the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 party at The Creeks on August 20, 2016 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 20: Lionel Richie and Ronald O. Perelman attend the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 party at The Creeks on August 20, 2016 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lionel Richie performs during the Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lionel Richie performs during the Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
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"This is going to be in December," Richie added. "We may be in a whole other world by that time. But I'm gonna wait it out."

He is not the first honoree to express reservations, either. Norman Lear also tweeted that he would accept the award but that he would not attend the reception with President Donald Trump.

"I totally understand Norman's point of view, and I understand where we are as a country right now is going backwards, but all we can do is sit here and hold our breath for a minute." Richie said.

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