Millions of soul and R&B music stations all over the world have their radio frequencies covered in Lionel Richie’s honeyed tones. The “evergreen” status of his well-known songs, “Hello,” “Truly,” “Three Times A Lady,” and “Say You, Say Me,” has elevated him to celebrity status. He first established a prosperous career with the “Commodores,” and afterwards had a prosperous solo career. Richie, a Grammy Award winner, is regarded as one of the most popular singer-songwriters of the 20th century, with the majority of his songs reaching the top of the music charts. He began writing and recording country singles after a lengthy and fruitful run with the “Commodores,” and he went on to become one of the most well-known musicians of his day. This musician, actor, and producer is best recognized for his solo career success rather than the earlier success he enjoyed with the “Commodores.” He has sold nearly 100 million records worldwide. He has worked with several musicians and vocalists during his musical career, including Diana Ross, Enrique Iglesias, Rascal Flatts, and Kenny Chesney. In addition to his work in the music industry, he has also acted in movies like “Pariah” and the reality TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?”
Early Childhood & Life
In Tuskegee, Alabama, Alberta R. (Foster) and Lionel Brockman Richie gave birth to Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr.
He attended Joliet Township High School and excelled at tennis while a student. The Tuskegee Institute then extended an offer of a tennis scholarship, which he accepted. He completed his studies at the university with a major in economics.
In the 1960s, while attending the university, he showed interest in a number of up-and-coming R&B bands. He briefly attended Auburn University after receiving his graduate diploma.
Lionel Richie’s Career
He joined the “Commodores” in 1968 as a singer and saxophone. He signed a record deal with Atlantic Records that same year for one record, after which he switched to Motown Records.
Machine Gun, the Commodores’ debut studio album, was a funk record that was released in 1974. The Commodores’ self-titled album, which they released three years later, quickly gained popularity and is now ranked among their top five albums overall.
In 1981, he and Diana Ross sang the movie’s theme song, “Endless Love.” In the UK, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, the song went on to become a massive hit. It is regarded as one of Motown Records’ biggest hits as well.
He released a self-titled album in 1982 to kick off his solo career. One of the album’s tracks, “Truly,” reached the top spot on the US music charts at its height.
In 1983, he issued his second solo effort, “Can’t Slow Down,” on the Motown Records label. The record went on to sell twice as many copies as his debut release and garner several Grammy nominations.
The following year, at the Olympic Games closing ceremony in Los Angeles, Lionel Richie was spotted playing one of his best singles, “All Night Long.”
He enjoyed a string of hit singles throughout 1984, including “Stuck on You,” “Running with the Night,” “Penny Lover,” and “Hello.” He composed and performed the song “Say You, Say Me” for the movie “White Nights” the next year, for which he won an Academy Award.
He worked with pop icon Michael Jackson to create the successful charity track “We Are the World” in 1985. The following year, he released “Dancing on the Ceiling,” one of his most popular albums to date. This album had a number of songs, including “Ballerina Girl,” “Se La,” and “Dancing on the Ceiling.”
He took a short break before making a comeback in 1992 with his greatest-hits album, “Back to Front.” His fourth studio album, “Louder Than Words,” which he released four years later, had underwhelming sales.
His fifth studio album, “Time,” which was released in 1998, similarly didn’t do well commercially and had extremely poor sales when compared to his other endeavors.
Richie’s song “Running with the Night” appeared in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City from 2002 until 2005. He appeared on an episode of “CMT Crossroads” and in the British program “Top Gear” during this time.
He gave a performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival that year, and his studio album “Coming Home” was also published. The album later went on to become one of the decade’s biggest hits. He hosted and participated in the show “An Audience with Lionel Richie” that same year.
He appeared on “Australian Idol” from 2007 to 2009, gave a New Year’s Eve performance in Times Square, and went on to release the album “Just Go.” He was spotted playing at Michael Jackson’s funeral in 2009.
He played in the AFL Grand Final Replay and the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, DC, both in 2010.
His ninth studio album, “Tuskegee,” which also includes big hits from other recording artists, was released two years later.
On NBC’s “The Today Show,” he revealed in 2013 that he would begin his “All the Nights All Night Long” tour.
Lionel’s Bigger Works
The self-titled album by his band, the “Commodores,” which was published in 1977, had a total of eight weeks on the charts and is also considered one of the band’s top five albums. The album includes the well-known sex anthem “Brick House,” which helped launch the group into the R&B mainstream by peaking at no. 5 on the US R&B chart.
The 1986 release of his solo effort, “Dancing on the Ceiling,” is regarded as one of his most commercially successful efforts to date. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 and approximately 4 million copies were sold. After the publication of this album, he had an almost 6-year hiatus from the music business before making a triumphant comeback with the album “Back to Front.”
Recognition & Achievements
He received a Grammy Award in the ‘Album of the Year category in 1985 for “Can’t Slow Down.” He also received a Grammy for “Song of the Year.”
In 1994, he was admitted to the “Songwriters Hall of Fame.”
In 2008, he was presented with the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Achievement Award.
A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was given to him.
Personal Legacy & Life
Brenda Harvey and he were wed on October 18, 1975. He started seeing Diane Alexander while he was still wed to her. After she learned of his wrongdoings, he broke up with Harvey, and she later viciously attacked him and Alexander.
When Nicole Richie was 9 years old, the couple adopted her while he was still married to Harvey.
On December 21, 1995, he and Diane Alexander exchanged legal vows. Sofia and Miles Brockman, the couple’s daughter and son, respectively. In 2004, the couple got a divorce.
He actively supports the “Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” for which he has raised almost $3.1 million.
Estimated Net Worth
An American singer-songwriter with a net worth of $200 million, Lionel Richie. The Commodores were the band in which Lionel Richie initially found success as a performer and producer. Additionally, he had a very fruitful solo career.
This famous American singer-songwriter’s music is hugely popular in the Middle East. The Iraqis played his song “All Night Long” on the eve of the American invasion in 2003.