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Lionel Richie

After leaving the Commodores, Lionel Richie became one of the most successful male solo artists of the '80s, arguably eclipsed during his 1981-1987 heyday only by Michael Jackson and Prince. Richie dominated the pop charts during that period with an incredible run of 13 consecutive Top Ten hits, five of them number ones. As his popularity skyrocketed, Richie moved further away from his R&B origins and concentrated more on adult contemporary balladry, which had been one of his strengths even as part of the Commodores. After 1987, Richie fell silent, taking an extended break from recording and touring before beginning a comeback toward the end of the '90s. He settled into a relaxed recording and touring schedule. Through the early 2010s, his albums switched between sophisticated R&B, surprisingly pop-oriented material, and even contemporary country.

Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr., was born on June 20, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama, and grew up on the campus of the Tuskegee Institute, where most of his family had worked for two generations prior. While attending college there, Richie joined the Commodores, who went on to become the most successful act on the Motown label during the latter half of the '70s. Richie served as a saxophonist, sometime vocalist, and songwriter, penning ballads like "Easy," "Three Times a Lady," and "Still" (the latter two became the group's only number one pop hits). Although the Commodores maintained a democratic band structure through most of their chart run, things began to change when the '70s became the '80s. In 1980, Richie wrote and produced country-pop singer Kenny Rogers' across-the-board number one smash "Lady," and the following year, Richie's duet with Diana Ross, "Endless Love" (recorded for the Brooke Shields film of the same title), became the most successful single in Motown history, topping the charts for a stunning nine weeks. With the media's attention now focused exclusively on Richie, tensions within the Commodores began to mount, and before the end of 1981, Richie decided to embark on a solo career.

Richie immediately set about recording his solo debut for Motown. Titled simply Lionel Richie, the album was released in late 1982 and was an immediate smash, reaching number three on the pop charts on its way to sales of over four million copies. It spun off three Top Five pop hits, including the first single, "Truly," which became Richie's first solo number one. If Lionel Richie made its creator a star, the follow-up, Can't Slow Down, made him a superstar. Boasting five Top Ten singles, including the number ones "All Night Long (All Night)" and "Hello," Can't Slow Down hit number one, eventually sold over ten million copies, and won the 1984 Grammy for Album of the Year. Such was Richie's stature that he was invited to perform at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, a spectacular stage event that was broadcast worldwide.

In 1985, Richie put his superstar status to work for a greater good, joining Michael Jackson in co-writing the USA for Africa charity single "We Are the World"; the all-star recording helped raise millions of dollars for famine relief. By the end of the year, he was on top of the charts again with "Say You, Say Me," a ballad recorded for the film White Nights but not included on the soundtrack album. The song was slated to be the title track on Richie's upcoming album, but delays in the recording process prevented the record from being released until August 1986, by which time the title was changed to Dancing on the Ceiling (in order to promote Richie's next single release). Three more Top Tens followed "Say You, Say Me," as did "Se La," which became the first of Richie's solo singles not to reach the pop Top Ten. Overall, Dancing on the Ceiling didn't match the success of Can't Slow Down, but it still sold an impressive four million copies, although Richie's reputation for sentimental ballads was beginning to incur a backlash in some quarters.

Richie's nine-year streak of writing at least one number one single (a feat matched only by Irving Berlin) came to an end in 1987. As a matter of fact, Richie all but disappeared from the music business, exhausted after two decades of recording and performing, and also occupied with taking care of his ailing father. Richie's silence was broken in 1992, when Motown released a compilation titled Back to Front; in addition to some of his solo hits and a few Commodores tracks, Back to Front also featured three new songs, including the number one R&B hit "Do It to Me."

Richie wasn't bitten by the recording bug again until 1996, by which time he'd endured his share of personal loss: his father had passed away, and his marriage to wife Brenda -- the muse behind some of his most successful ballads -- had fallen apart. In approaching his comeback, Richie attempted to update his sound to reflect a decade's worth of developments in R&B. The result, Louder Than Words, was a moderate success, reaching the Top 30 and going gold. However, it didn't produce any major hit singles, and Richie's nods to contemporary production trends were criticized as awkward. Released in 1998, Time found Richie in a more familiar element, relying on his signature sound with only slight musical updates. However, the album flopped, spending only a few weeks in the lower reaches of the charts.

Richie's next album, Renaissance, was released to a favorable reception in Europe in late 2000; it was issued in the U.S. in early 2001. It fared best in the U.K., where it went platinum. Three years later, on the heels of enduring a very public and bitter divorce with his second wife, Richie released Just for You, another album that was most successful in the U.K. The 2006 album Coming Home -- released the same year his popularity in certain Arab states was covered by mainstream media outlets -- found him working with an all-star cast of collaborators including Jermaine Dupri, Raphael Saadiq, Sean Garrett, and Dallas Austin. In the U.S., it reached the Top 10 of the pop and R&B charts. The wholly modern Just Go, released in 2009, featured assistance from Stargate, Terius "The-Dream" Nash, Christopher "Tricky" Stewart, and Akon. His next release was much different: 2012's Tuskegee featured fully countrified updates of hits from his past, including "Easy" (with Willie Nelson), "Hello" (with Jennifer Nettles), and "Dancing on the Ceiling" (with Rascal Flatts). The album reached the top of the U.S. pop and country charts. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Tuskegee

1. You Are (2012 Version)

2. Say You, Say Me (2012 Version)

3. Stuck On You (2012 Version)

4. Deep River Woman (2012 Version)

5. My Love (2012 Version)

6. Dancing On The Ceiling (2012 Version)

7. Hello (2012 Version)

8. Sail On (2012 Version)

9. Endless Love (2012 Version)

10. Just For You (2012 Version)

11. Lady (2012 Version)

12. Easy (2012 Version)

13. All Night Long (2012 Version)

x

Track List: Just Go

1. Forever

2. Just Go (Feat. Akon)

3. Nothing Left To Give (Feat. Akon)

4. Forever And A Day

5. I'm Not Okay

6. Good Morning

7. Through My Eyes

8. I'm In Love

9. Think Of You

10. Into You Deep

11. Pastime

12. Face In The Crowd (Duet With Trijnt Je Oosterhuis)

13. Somewhere In London

14. Eternity

x

Track List: Coming Home

1. I Call It Love

2. Sweet Vacation

3. Why

4. What You Are

5. Up All Night

6. I'm Coming Home

7. All Around The World

8. Out Of My Head

9. Reason To Believe

10. Stand Down

11. I Love You

x

Track List: Just For You

1. Just For You

2. I Still Believe

3. Just To Be With You Again

4. She's Amazing

5. Ball And Chain

6. The World Is A Party

8. Outrageous

9. Road To Heaven

10. Dance For The World

12. In My Dreams

13. One World

x

Track List: Renaissance

1. Angel

2. Cinderella

3. Tender Heart

4. Dance The Night Away

5. Tonight

6. How Long

7. Don't You Ever Go Away

8. Wasted Time

9. Piece Of My Heart

10. It May Be The Water

11. Here Is My Heart

12. Don't Stop The Music

x

Track List: Time

1. Zoomin'

2. I Hear Your Voice

3. Touch

4. Forever

5. Everytime

6. Time

7. To The Rhythm

8. Stay

9. The Way I Feel

10. Closest Thing To Heaven

11. Someday

12. Lady

x

Track List: Louder Than Words

1. Piece Of Love

2. Still In Love

3. I Wanna Take You Down

4. Can't Get Over You

5. Change

6. Nothing Else Matters

7. Ordinary Girl

8. Say I Do

9. Paradise

10. Don't Wanna Lose You

11. Lovers At First Sight

12. Climbing

x

Track List: Dancing On The Ceiling

1. Dancing On The Ceiling

2. Sela

3. Ballerina Girl

4. Don't Stop

5. Deep River Woman

6. Love Will Conquer All

7. Tonight Will Be Alright

8. Say You, Say Me

9. Night Train

x

Track List: Dancing On The Ceiling (Bonus Tracks)

1. Dancing On The Ceiling

2. Se La

3. Ballerina Girl

4. Don't Stop

5. Deep River Woman

6. Love Will Conquer All

7. Tonight Will Be Alright

8. Say You, Say Me

9. Night Train (Smooth Alligator)

10. Dancing On The Ceiling (12 Inch Version)

11. Se La (12 Inch Version)

12. Don't Stop (12 Inch Version)

13. Love Will Conquer All (12 Inch Version)

x

Track List: Can't Slow Down

1. Can't Slow Down

2. All Night Long (All Night)

3. Penny Lover

4. Stuck On You

5. Love Will Find A Way

6. The Only One

7. Running With The Night

8. Hello

x

Track List: Can't Slow Down (Deluxe Edition)

Disc 1

1. Can't Slow Down

2. All Night Long (All Night)

3. Penny Lover

4. Stuck On You

5. Love Will Find A Way

6. The Only One

7. Running With The Night

8. Hello

9. All Night Long (All Night) (12-Inch Version)

10. Penny Lover (7-Inch Single Remix)

11. All Night Long (All Night) (Instrumental)

12. Running With The Night (Instrumental)

Disc 2
x

Track List: Lionel Richie

1. Serves You Right

2. Wandering Stranger

3. Tell Me

4. My Love

5. Round And Round

6. Truly

7. You Are

8. You Mean More To Me

9. Just Put Some Love In Your Heart

x

Track List: Lionel Richie (Bonus Tracks)

1. Serves You Right

2. Wandering Stranger

3. Tell Me

4. My Love

5. Round And Round

6. Truly

7. You Are

8. You Mean More To Me

9. Just Put Some Love In Your Heart

10. Endless Love (Solo Demo)

11. You Are (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Coming Home (Album Sampler)

1. I Call It Love

2. What You Are

3. Sweet Vacation

4. I'm Coming Home

5. Why

Comments

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Still....Thi s song always haves me in tears :'( love this oldie
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Oh No ... Love this Jam ....
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You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Don't stop this is freaky! But if you read and ignore it you will get bad luck. Put this on 15 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen. This is so creepy because it actually works!!!
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Luv it
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fidelperezda r i a s
Hello, he is a real singer!!!
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Hello good song
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Love it
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Great song by a great singer, performer. If you are not moving to this song, please check your pulse!!!!
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sandymcleod1 7 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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lesia1968
Beautiful , Hello is me your looking for ?? My arms are open wide , I want to tell u so much ''I Love You ''❤️❤️
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rootiekazoo7
Still ;)
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lesia1968
Stuck on you , so beautiful ... ❤️❤️❤️
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lionel Richie God isLove
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lizabdiaz
Say you say me
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Lionel Richie's kept the hits coming combining R&B and country in a magical way. It was all about LOVE in the 70s and 80s. We were better as a people because the music brought us together.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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lizabdiaz
♡♡♡
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I have always loved your music and now to find out you are my age makes it even better!!
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Your music makes me smile!
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I love Lionel Richie music
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Hi Bro from one Richie to another
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Hi! Lionel, you are the best! Love your music a long time ago. God bless you! From P.R. Marta
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You're three times a lady (smiling)
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kristyfrank1
I love saying hello like he sings hello when I answer the phone folks always get throwed off lol lol
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lesia1968
Yes I'm stuck on you sweetness ... ❤️❤️❤️
Report as inappropriate
darrell.land
Don't read this now that you have read this you will be kissed on the cheek by the love of your life now that you have read this don't stop if you ignore it you will have bad luck post this on 15 other songs in 143 minutes and then your crushes name will appear on your phone
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rosiemccalli s t e r
Who is on this 2012 duet version.
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I have a few of his Cd's and the Commodores' greatest hits. My fav is Slipper When Wet. I didn't know of the song until within the last 15 years. That was funk and I was elementary in the 70's.

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Hence the pic
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Welcome back to Connecticut.
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just thinking about you baby..just blows my mind...
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Today me and my wife had an argument, and she walked out on me, no good reason at all. But that's how it is these days. Iam a good man, the good Lord knows!
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You easy person like Sunday relaxing,alw a y s here for me Baby. My Sunday morning just get high off you smile
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Alternate version...it ' s all over now Brother :)
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I've loved kenny Rogers for 47 years today my birthday!!! My love! ��
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ahmed_ahmed
I remember walking to school 12 miles a day in Kenya and the only tape i had was LR. my meager allowances purchased Duracell batteries.
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gypsyme3
MY LOVE
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gypsyme3
My song for tonite .. Wanna nite .. Ok
? My luv !! Fingers crossed for coming week !!
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a lot of people who leave comments speak of past wonderful memories...I guess I'm really no different... K a r e n , I still miss you...do you remember ?
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His melodic voice brings back memories of my Childhood. Happy times! Thank you Mr. Lionel Richie :-)
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You are the sun you are the rain
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just thinking about you just blows my mind
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Ahhhh.... Just kinda being easy.. You know, easy like Sunday morning..
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Nobody like Lionel...the sweetest romantic and beautiful voice
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he epitomizes cool classy man
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Nobody but Lionel
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.,,,.,..,.,. , . , , . , . , . , , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , , , , , . , , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . , . . , . , . , . , .
Report as inappropriate
Lionel Richie love songs are the best
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bikeday13
Love this track....."e v e r y b o d y wants me to be what they want me to be" Faith no more covers this track as well
Report as inappropriate
Lionel Ritchie made some major hits...and his vice is silky smooth!
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