- Occupation: singer
- Real name: Lionel Jr. Brockman Richie
- Sign: Gemini
- Date of birth: Monday 20 June 1949 (age: 71)
- Country: United States
Lionel Richie was born on 20 June 1949 in Tuskegee, USA. He spent his childhood in Alabama with a military family. His grandmother, a piano teacher, introduced him to music at a very early age. At the beginning of the 1970s, he founded with friends a R’n’B band, The Commodores, for which he wrote songs.
The beginnings were difficult, and the group toured the clubs to make itself known. In an audition, they managed to land the opening acts for the Jackson Five. Gradually, The Commodores gained notoriety and Lionel Richie wrote several songs that were successful; Machine Gun in 1974, Brick House in 1977 and Easy in 1977.
In the early 1980s, Lionel Richie began a turning point in his career and began collaborating for other artists. He wrote the hit Lady for Kenny Rogers in 1980. The following year, he performed a duet with Diana Ross for the soundtrack of the film Endless Love, with which they went to the top of the charts. Building on his success, in 1982 he left the Commodores and decided to embark on a solo career. In 1982, he released his first album, Lionel Richie, which included the hit Truly, which earned him a diamond disc and a Grammy Award.
The consecration comes in 1983, with the album Can’t slow down which is a huge success with notably the singles All night long and Hello. The singer’s popularity earned him an invitation to sing All Night Long at the closing ceremony of the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984. The following year, he composed with Michael Jackson the song We are the world to raise funds for the fight against famine in Africa. The single sold more than 20 million copies. In 1985, Lionel Richie wrote the title Say you, say me, for the film Soleil de nuit, which won the Oscar for best original film song in 1986. A few months later, in the summer of 1986, Lionel Richie released the album Dancing on the ceiling, which included the title Say You, say me. The album was another great success.
At the end of the 80s, the singer took a break in his career for personal reasons. He slipped away for several years. In the mid-90s, his return to music began with the album Louder than words (1996). He then released a few albums (Renaissance, Coming home, Just go) before returning to success with the album Tuskegee in 2012. He is back to his roots with this album of covers of his songs in country versions. In 2014, Lionel Richie starts a world tour, and gives several concerts in France in 2015.
On the private side, Lionel Richie married Brenda Harvey in 1975. In 1990, the couple officially adopts Nicole Escovedo, a nine-year-old girl who has lived with the couple for many years. But in 1993, the couple separated. In December 1995, the singer married Diane Alexander, with whom he had two children, Miles (born in May 1994) and Sofia (born in August 1998). Their divorce was pronounced in 2004.
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