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Lionel Richie Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (15) | Personal Quotes (39)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 20 June 1949Tuskegee, Alabama, USA
Birth NameLionel Brockman Richie Jr.
Height 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Lionel Richie was born on June 20, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama, USA as Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. He was previously married to Diana Alexander Richie and Brenda Harvey-Richie.

Spouse (2)

Diana Alexander Richie (21 December 1995 - 2004) (divorced) (2 children)
Brenda Harvey-Richie (28 October 1975 - 9 August 1993) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (15)

He was one of the original members of The Commodores and left the group in 1982.
Performed at benefit dinner for Global Business Council on HIV/AIDS in front of former President Bill Clinton and UN Secy General Kofi Annan, 12 June 2002.
Seriously considered becoming an Episcopalian Priest before turning to music.
He has performed with the SAS (Spike Edney's All Stars) Band.
20 June 2003: Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Adoptive father of Nicole Richie, with his then-wife Brenda Harvey-Richie.
Has a son, Myles Brockman Richie (born on May 27, 1994), and a daughter, Sophia Richie (born August 26, 1998), with his second wife Diana.
With Michael Jackson, co-wrote the song "We Are the World" and was one of its performers.
Graduated from Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
Longtime friend of radio personality Tom Joyner.
Michael Jackson was the godfather of his daughter Nicole Richie.
A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Appeared on Canadian Idol (2003) on Aug 11th, 2004. His music was one of the weekly themes of the show, and seven young finalists worked with him individually to prepare for singing his songs in competition. [August 2004]

Personal Quotes (39)

Lionel Richie, love song, OK, thank you very much, good-bye. And all of a sudden I realized that, in my career, what has made my career has always been the surprises.
So much of my career has been about saying things the way people say them, using melodies not that I can sing but that the people can sing.
I think the whole world is dying to hear someone say, 'I love you.' I think that if I can leave the legacy of love and passion in the world, then I think I've done my job in a world that's getting colder and colder by the day.
I find the greatest songs in the world come out of pain, and I don't like it! Here's what it does: It strips away all of your facade. It makes you so honest. It's cleansing.
By growing up in Alabama, I had a melting pot of the whole pie: R&B, gospel, country.
Just when I think it couldn't get any bigger, 'Tuskegee' reaches a new level of success.
I'm a songwriter, and people will tell you the greatest stories about their lives, whether you want to hear it or not.
I just like people. I'll hold a conversation at a gas station. It's not about the fame and the fortune, I just like people.
I grew up with the Grand Ole Opry, Dottie West, Conway Twitty, Buck Owens... not realizing it was influencing me as much as it was.
I find myself going out on the road to get my confidence back, because I lose it at home.
I am a country boy and proud of it.
I always like to challenge myself. I never want to be put into a box.
Greatness comes from fear. Fear can either shut us down and we go home, or we fight through it.
Country music has always been about as close to R&B as you can possibly get. We're storytellers.
All artists are egotistical maniacs with inferiority complexes.
I travel around the world, experiencing every language, every religion... some places where there's just no reason to smile, because their lives are so difficult.
I knew I was going to do a country album one day. But I was just trying to figure out for the life of me, what we were going to do to make it different, unique.
Growing up with country, R&B, gospel, and classical music from my grandmother and pop, Tuskegee was the perfect melting pot for my influences as a writer.
Exactly when people are in turmoil is the time that the entertainment business has always been at its best. Because people don't want to be reminded every day that they are under siege, or that they're not having a great time of life.
Country is bringing in a little rock element... a little '80s element. Melody is king now. But its just in the music, its not so much in the songwriting, which is still very basic to the storytelling aspect of it.
Believe me, I love commerce as much as the rest of the readers of 'Businessweek.' But in art, you have to be true to yourself and your musical vision. People have known me well for a long time, so if I was chasing a trend and doing something that wasn't authentic to who I am, they would know it in just a few seconds.
People, as critical as it looks, we're OK. We are in control, whether we feel it or not.
People have allowed me into their homes, through my words and my music.
My earliest memories of country music are the Grand Ole Opry.
'Let the music play on' would be my legacy.
Your kids can say some cruel things to you at times. For example, Nicole, Miles and Sofie are standing there in the room and I'm dressed to kill in my own mind. They'll say to me, 'Dad, you're not going out there looking like that are you?' If that doesn't kill a star, I don't know what does!
You cannot beat the feeling of sitting on top of the charts. I had almost forgotten what it feels like... It feels great! It is really a very exciting time and I am enjoying the ride.
When I was growing up, music was music and there were no genres. We didn't look at it as country music. Popular music in Tuskegee was country music. So I didn't know it in categories. It was the radio.
When I came up with the idea for 'Tuskegee,' I didn't want to be confined by boundaries of age, genre or demographics. I am thrilled with how well this album has been received by people from all walks of life. It is truly living up to the vision we had when we created it.
The best compliment that has ever been given to me was, I was at the airport one day and a guy came in and said, 'Lionel, my wife loves you, the kids love you, my mother-in-law loves you, the family loves you.'
Taking time to sit back and watch and think about what you've seen is important. Traveling did a great deal to me. I found that when I travel and just sit in the corner and watch, a million ideas come to me.
Kids will keep it real. If I've ever had in my life a great anchor, it's them. They get in your head, 'don't get too famous.' If you think you're really famous and think you're really hip, go hang out with your kids for an afternoon. That's about as earthbound as it's going to get.
It's quite interesting that in my growing up I had several influences. We had gospel music on campus. R&B music was, of course, the community, and radio was country music. So I can kind of see where all the influences came from.
It was very interesting in my world, because I grew up as a fan and I did not know that there was a thing called R&B, pop, country, classical - I just knew that I loved music.
I want to let everybody know that I'm from there, and country is Tuskegee. Or should I say rather, my country is Tuskegee. I was born and raised there, it's not just someplace I passed through one day.
[on meeting Nelson Mandela] Nothing else on this planet unglued me this way, right in front of everyone. For him to say, 'Your lyrics, your songs got me through so many days of captivity'. I just couldn't - he's talking to me, you know? It gave me a sense of real purpose: Why am I doing this?
[on putting a show together ] Were threading the needle, 'Who got married on these songs? Who went to school on these songs? Where are the frat party songs?' You have to put it all in and see what falls off the ledge.
Every generation speaks. From the '70s and '80s on, I understood what was happening in my generation. Then came the MTV group, and that was considered off-the-chain, and some people didn't want to do it. And then comes [daughter] Nicole and her group, and there goes the neighborhood. Now we're in total reality. I call it 'overdose reality'. Everybody has a reality show now. With cellphones, everybody's a star.
In America, you're only as hot as your last record. In Canada, when they pass it down from generation to generation, you're part of the fabric of the country, and that's the beauty of it.

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