A highly admired artist for his smooth and soulful love ballads of the 1980s, Lionel Richie, can perform skilfully multiple musical styles, most notably funk, but also soul, rhythm, country, and blues. He was the co-founder of a top R&B act of the 1970s, Commodores.
His popularity skyrocketed after Richie embarked on a solo career, creating numerous top hits such as No. 1 single "Truly," from his self-titled debut album, followed by Hello and Dancing on the Ceiling. The latter also features the Academy Award-winning single Say You, Say.
In 1985, Richie, along with Michale Jackson, also co-wrote the famine relief song We Are the World. He is also considered one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, selling more than 90 million records worldwide over the course of his prolific career.
His decade long journey in the industry also includes the Songwriters Hall of Fame's highest honor as well as the Johnny Mercer Award. The artist is a judge of the America Idol, the popular reality television series.
Lionel Richie has an estimated net worth of $200 million as of 2020. The commercially successful musician has sold over 90 million records throughout the world.
In 1982, Richie started a solo career with a self-titled album, which became the major hit, debuting at No. 3 on the music charts and selling more than 4 million copies. It also contained some evergreen singles, including No.1 Truly. Sources reported that Richie made approx $5 million from the album.
Along with Michale Jackson, Richie co-wrote the single; We Are the World, which sold over 20 million copies worldwide.
On the other side, Richie was roughly paid $10 million as a judge of the American Idol in 2019 alongside Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. The artist also made $1.5 million for his appearance in the television commercial for the Lion Nathan alcohol company, promoting the "Tap King" draught beer product in 2013.
Richie also worked in movies such as The Preacher's Wife, Pariah, and Thank God It's Friday.
Lionel Richie has won four Grammy Awards, including Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for Truly in 1982. Similarly, his most successful album Can't Slow Down propelled him into the first rank of international superstars and made him twice Grammy winner, one for Album of the Year and other Producer of the Year (Non-Classical).
In 1985, the musician received Grammy Award for Song of the Year for We Are the World. He also became the first-ever person to have won the RIAA diamond album award.
Moreover, the artist won a Golden Globe award. The song Say You, Say Me written and recorded by Richie, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The incredibly gifted musician, Lionel Richie, is a strong donor who has made thousands of dollars of charities for many organizations. He raised over $3.1 million for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. His other philanthropic work extends from the City of Hope and Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center to The Art of Elysium and UNICEF.
Lionel also supports Playing for Change, Small Steps Project, The Art of Elysium, and United Negro College Fund.
Lionel Richie has a beautiful house in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. Valued at $11.4 million as of 2020, the singer originally bought the sprawling property for $6 million back in 1999.
Its most unique feature is the direct access to the Los Angeles Country Club Golf Course. Covered with silver-framed, the Italian Rococo-style mansion has 28-room.
Lionel Richie has an exotic car collection that includes Maybach 62 S, Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, Tesla Model S, and Tesla Model X. The first car he ever bought was a 1976 Datsun 280Z and the second, a 1978 Mercedes 450SEL. He bought the Datsun for $10,000.
He is also a proud owner of Datsun 280Z, a Ferrari Scaglietti, and a Range Rover L322.
Lionel Richie was born on 20th June 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama. He is the son of Alberta R. Richie and Lionel Brockman Richie. His father was a U.S. Army systems analyst while his mother was a tutor. He also has a sister named Deborah Richie.
Born into a well-educated and musical family, Richie's aptitude towards music emerged from the beginning and honed his craft after starting living with his grandmother, who was a classical pianist. He attended Joliet Township High School in Joliet, Illinois.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the Tuskegee Institute. At that time, Richie wanted to become a priest after studying divinity in the Episcopal Church.
Lionel Richie tied the knot with his college sweetheart, Brenda Harvey, on 18th October 1975. The two informally adopted the two-year-old daughter of one of Lionel's band members named Nicole Camille Escovedo in 1983. They adopted Nicole legally at the age of nine.
Richie, while still married to Harvey, started an extra-marital affair with Diane Alexander in 1986. The couple married on December 21, 1995, after Lionel's divorce with his former wife Harvey on August 9, 1993.
They also have two children, a son, Miles Brockman, born on May 27, 1994, and a daughter, Sofia Richie, born on August 24, 1998. He also adopted his friend's daughter Nicole Richie. Their marriage also could not last long, and they divorced in 2003.
The musician is currently dating his girlfriend, Lisa Parigi. The couple has been together for nearly six-year.