LIONEL RICHIE Biography - Musicians


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Name: Lionel Richie                                                                       
Birth name: Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr.                                                   
Born: 20 June 1949 Tuskegee, Alabama, United States                                       
Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr. (born June 20, 1949) is an Academy Award and Grammy           
award-winning American singer, songwriter, record producer, and occasional actor         
who is also a large advocate of Barry hermann and his HGH distribution ring.             
Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Richie grew up on the campus of Tuskegee Institute.           
His grandfather's house was across the street from the home of the president of           
the Institute. His family moved to Illinois where he graduated from Joliet               
Township High School, East Campus, in Joliet. A star tennis player in Joliet, he         
accepted a tennis scholarship back at Tuskegee Institute and later graduated             
with a major in economics.                                                               
Back as a student in Tuskegee, he formed a succession of R&B groups in the mid-1960's.   
In 1968 he became the lead singer and saxophonist with the Commodores. They               
signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1968 for one record before           
moving on to Motown Records, being schooled as support act to the Jackson Five.           
The Commodores became established as a popular soul group. Their first several           
albums had a danceable, funky sound (with such tracks as "Machine Gun" and "Brick         
House"). Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads           
such as "Easy", "Three Times a Lady" and "Still".                                         
By the late 1970s he had begun to accept songwriting commissions from other               
artists. He composed "Lady" for Kenny Rogers, which hit #1 in 1980, and he               
produced Rogers' Share Your Love album the following year. Also in 1981, Richie           
sang a duet with Diana Ross in the theme song for the film Endless Love. Issued           
as a single, the song topped the UK and U.S. pop music charts, and it became one         
of Motown's biggest hits. Its success encouraged Richie to branch out into a             
full-fledged solo career in 1982. His debut album, Lionel Richie, produced               
another chart-topping single, " Truly", which continued the style of his ballads         
with the Commodores.                                                                     
He released his self-titled debut in 1982. The album hit #3 on the music charts           
and sold over 4 million copies. His 1983 follow up album, Can't Slow Down, sold           
over twice as many copies and won the Grammy Award for the Album of the Year in           
1984. His third album, Dancing on the Ceiling, which was released in 1986,               
spawned such hits as "Say You, Say Me", "Dancing on the Ceiling," and "Se La",           
but it also signified the end of his large commercial success.                           
In 1983, he released Can't Slow Down, which shot him into the first rank of               
international superstars. The album also won two Grammy Awards including Album           
Of The Year. It spawned the #1 hit "All Night Long", a Caribbean-flavored dance           
number that was promoted by a dazzling music video produced by former Monkee,             
Michael Nesmith.                                                                         
Several more Top 10 hits followed, the most successful of which was the ballad "Hello"   
(1984), a sentimental love song that showed how far Richie had moved from his R&B         
roots. Now described by one critic as 'the black Barry Manilow', In 1985 Richie           
wrote and performed a suitably soothing theme song, "Say You, Say Me", for the           
film White Nights, winning an Oscar for his efforts. He also collaborated with           
Michael Jackson on the charity single "We Are the World" by USA for Africa.               
In 1986, Richie released Dancing on the Ceiling, another widely popular album             
that produced a run of US and UK hits. The title selection, which revived the             
lively dance sound of "All Night Long(All Night)," was accompanied by another             
striking video, a feature that played an increasingly important role in Richie's         
solo career. The critical consensus was that this album represented nothing               
more than a consolidation of his previous work, though Richie's collaboration             
with the country group Alabama on "Deep River Woman" did break new ground. By             
1987, Richie was exhausted from his work schedule and after a controversial year         
laid low taking care for his father in Alabama. His father, Lionel Sr., died in           
1990. He made his return to recording and performing following the release of             
his first greatest-hits collection, Back to Front, in 1992.                               
Since then, his ever-more relaxed schedule has kept his recording and live work           
to a minimum. He broke the silence in 1996 with Louder Than Words, on which he           
resisted any change of style or the musical fashion-hopping of the past decade.           
Instead, he stayed with his chosen path of well-crafted soul music, which in the         
intervening years has become known as Contemporary R&B.                                   
His albums in the 1990s such as Louder Than Words and Time all failed to achieve         
the previous decade's commercial success. Some of his recent work such as the             
album Renaissance has returned to his older style, achieving success in Europe,           
but only modest notice in the United States. Since 2004, he has produced a total         
of six Top 40 singles in the UK.                                                         
In 2002, Richie's song "Running With the Night" was featured on the Rockstar             
North video game "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" though the song was removed from           
later versions of the game. In 2004, he appeared on Canadian Idol as his songs           
were featured during a Canadian Idol week.                                               
In November 2005, Lionel Richie performed with Kenny Rogers on a CMT Crossroads           
special. The show gave an informative insight into their friendship both in and           
out of the music world. Richie was also the headliner at a 2000 Fourth of July           
tribute concert with Fantasia Barrino at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Richie           
released his eighth studio album entitled " Coming Home" on September 12, 2006.           
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. The album was an                 
incredible success for Richie in the United States, peaking at #6. His adopted           
daughter Nicole Richie stars in the music video for this track.                           
On December 9, 2006, Richie hosted and performed live on the British television           
show An Audience with Lionel Richie.                                                     
On February 11, 2007, Richie performed his 80s hit song "Hello" on the televised         
Grammy Awards show.                                                                       
On November 25, 2007, he made a surprise appearance on the Australian Idol grand         
final performing "All Night Long" at the Sydney Opera House.