While Michael Jackson was the undisputed king of pop music, Lionel Richie has been sitting on the throne of soul music since time immemorial. With every hit he released, Richie consolidated his place in the royal league of music. Richie is revered around the world, has received five Grammy Awards, and is the recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award.
Lionel Richie’s Biography (Age)
Lionel Richie was born on June 20, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama, and attended Joliet Township High School, from where he went to the Tuskegee Institute, but later dropped out to pursue a career in music.
In the mid 60’s he founded the Commodores with some friends. As a member of the group, Lionel contributed vocals and played piano and saxophone at the same time. Despite his great musical abilities, he made his greatest contribution as a songwriter. In the 1970s the Commodores entered the market and had successful melodies like “Easy”, “Three Times a Lady”, “Still” and “Sail On”.
His solo career began in 1982 with his self-titled debut album. The lead single “Truly” turned out to be a huge hit and later that year reached first place. What followed was a steady stream of songs that stormed the charts, including the Latin American dance song “All Night Long (All Night)” in 1983 and the love songs “Hello” (1984) and “Say You, Say Me” (1985).
Lionel Richie released two more albums “Can’t Slow Down” and “Dancing on the Ceiling”. Together with Michael Jackson, Richie wrote: “We Are the World” in 1985 to raise money for hunger relief initiatives in Africa. The song raised $50 million in donations and was named Song of the Year at the Grammys.
In the following years, Richie did not succeed in releasing songs with the frequency and quality of the 80s. He recorded Louder than Words in 1996. In 2012, Richie released a collection of his greatest hits with performances with Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Willie Nelson, and others. In September 2017, ABC announced that Lionel Richie will be a guest juror for American Idol.
Lionel Richie was fortunate to be born into a family with a musical heritage. He spent much time with his grandmother, who was a classical pianist. His uncle was a big band jazz musician who bought him his first saxophone.
His father, Lionel Brockman Richie Sr. was a systems analyst in the U.S. Army, while his mother, Alberta, was a teacher and later a school principal. Lionel has a sister named Deborah Richie.
During high school, Lionel met Brenda Harvey, and a romance blossomed. The couple married in 1975. After a few years their love broke up and there were problems with Lionel’s infidelity. In 1986 Lionel Richie began an extramarital affair with the then dancer Diane Alexander. He first met Diane at the closing ceremony of the 1984 Olympic Games, where he performed his hit “All Night Long”. From then on, according to Diane’s neighbors, Lionel made it a habit, according to Diane’s neighbors, to sneak in at night to see Diane. In the heat of the moment, Dianne also appeared in his 1986 music video for the song “Dancing On The Ceiling”.
Brenda, who obviously distrusted her husband’s infidelity, found her way to Dianne’s apartment and met her husband in Dianne’s arms. An angry Brenda involved the couple in a brawl, kicking Lionel in the stomach and pushing Dianne to the floor, thoroughly beating her. Lionel Richie was able to contact the local police who came in to calm the situation and led Brenda out in handcuffs.
Brenda Harvey-Richie was arrested for trespassing and booked on suspicion of assaulting a spouse, disturbing the peace, vandalism, resisting arrest, and assault. She was eventually released on $5,000 bail.
After the much-publicized arrest, the marriage was certainly over. In 1993 they finalized their divorce. Two years later, in 1995, Lionel Richie married Diane Alexander, with whom he had two children, a son named Miles Brockman (born on 27 May 1994) and Sofia Richie (born on 24 August 1998). Lionel’s marriage to Dianne lasted only eight years and they were divorced in 2003.
Lionel Richie’s Daughter
Lionel and Brenda adopted Nicole Camille Escovedo, born in Berkeley, California, from Peter Michael Escovedo (a member of Richie’s band) and Karen Moss. At the age of three, her biological parents allowed Nicole Escovedo to live with the Richies because they felt that the Richies were better able to provide for her needs. At the age of nine, Nicole was formally adopted by Lionel Richie and his wife Brenda.
Nicole Richie also dragged the role of show business and made a name for herself as an actress, writer, fashion designer, and television personality. She is known for her role in the reality television series The Simple Life by Fox.
Richie has had an illustrious career of over four decades, including the first 14 years he spent at the Commodores. His debut album in 1982 was the number one hit single entitled “Truly”, and the album sold over four million copies worldwide. His iconic hit “All Night Long” reached number 1 on the US music charts.
As a musician, Lionel Richie has sold over 90 million copies of his albums over the years and has a net worth of over $200 million. His residence in Beverly Hills is a $25 million building with 30 rooms, 17 bathrooms, and dozens of domestic staff.
As a car lover, Richie’s fleet includes some of the sleekest cars you’ll ever find, including a Ferrari Scaglietti, a Range Rover L322, and a Porsche 930.
In the years that Lionel Richie has graced our canvas, he has done a good job of keeping himself in top shape. Richie stands at a height of 1.85 meters (6′ 1″). The music veteran also weighs 69 kg.