Next to Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie was the biggest star of the ’80s pop-music scene.
Lionel Richie has sold nearly 60 million albums, won five Grammy’s, has 22 Top Ten hits, an Oscar for best song, a Golden Globe award, a treasure chest of People’s choice and American Music Awards, and co-write with Michael Jackson what eventually would become pop’s most famous anthem, the Live-Aid tune “We Are The World”.
In 1968, Lionel Richie became the lead singer and saxophonist for the Commodores. He was now thrust into the spotlight. The Commodores hit the scene with a funked-up tracks like “Machine Gun” and “Brick House.”). Then came the legendary easy-listening ballads “Easy”, “Three Times a Lady” and “Still”.
By now, many singers realized Richie’s songwriting prowess and by the late 70s, he had begun to write for other artists. He composed “Lady” for Kenny Rogers, which hit #1 in 1980. Then Richie sang a duet with Diana Ross, “Endless Love,” in 1981.
The success of “Endless Love” gave Lionel Richie the gumption to ditch the Commodores and go it as a solo artist. His eponymous debut album, included the chart-topping single, “Truly.”
Lionel Richie reached #3 on the charts and sold over 4 million copies. His 1983 follow up, Can’t Slow Down, included the the #1 hit “All Night Long,” sold over 8 million copies and won the Grammy Award for the Album of the Year. Lionel’s third album, Dancing on the Ceiling, hit shelves in 1986 and gave us “Say You, Say Me”, “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and “Se La”.
Between 1987 and 1992, Lionel Richie left the spotlight to focus on family and his personal life. He made his return to recording and performing following the release of his first greatest-hits collection, Back to Front, in 1992.
In 2004, he appeared on Canadian Idol as his songs were featured during one week’s performances.
In 2006, Lionel Richie released his eighth studio album, Coming Home. The first single of the album was “I Call It Love” and was premiered in July 2006, becoming his biggest hit in the U.S. in ten years.
In 2007, Lionel Richie performed his smash hit “Hello” at the Grammy Awards.
Lionel Richie now enjoys his fourth decade of making music.