From his success with the Commodores to international fame as a solo artist in the 1980s, this Sunday, Classic 105’s Maina Kageni takes us down memory lane with musician Lionel Richie.
In 1968, Lionel Richie left the self-sufficient black community of Tuskeegee, Alabama and headed for New York City with his college band, The Commodores. With their fluid funky grooves and outrageous costumes, they didn’t go unnoticed for long; the group’s big break came when it opened for the Jackson 5 on a world tour, VH1 reports.
Also read more here
They impressed all within earshot, and walked away with a Motown Records contract. The Commodores’ first #1 hit was the lush ballad “Easy.” It’s success suggested the split to come. After “Three Times a Lady” and “Still” were embraced by the world, it was clear that Richie’s remarkable voice was taking him toward a solo career. He continued to rise from there, seemingly unstoppable until a triple blow – the loss of his father, a tabloid scandal, and divorce from his college sweetheart – sent Richie into a tailspin of depression and reflection.
Factor in a health scare during which he couldn’t sing, and you have a real crisis. It took five years before Richie began making music again… and married his girlfriend Diane. After the birth of their son Miles, the singer says his “heart finally started working again.” He also shares a tip for fledgling songwriters: “I Love You” never goes out of style. Richie’s mother and his wife talk about the man, while Kenny Rogers and Dick Clark talk about the power of his songs.
The 68-year-old singer and producer is currently among judges at the American Idol series, while he also enjoys residency in Las Vegas.
The dancing on the ceiling hitmaker, is currenlty dating girlfriend Lisa Parisa for the last five years.
Lionel will be very busy next month.
He resumes his Las Vegas residency performing his All The Hits show at The Axis in Planet Hollywood on March 9 and 10.
The following day American Idol kicks off on ABC and Lionel will join Katy Perry, 33, and Luke Bryan, 41, on the judges panel at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater with Ryan Seacrest back as host. Read more: dailymail.