Propelled by his immensely productive songwriting skills along with his dynamic performing style, Lionel Richie has reached a series of dazzling artistic heights, setting new standards in his craft and in the industry.
Born in 1949 in Tuskegee Institute, Alabama (home to Tuskegee University), Richie's start in the music business came by accident. While it's true that his grandmother's piano lessons instilled in him the basics of music, the turning point came in the early 1970's during his freshman year at Tuskegee University, when five classmates asked him to join a band they were forming known as The Mystics.
The group later became The Commodores for whom Richie wrote some of his most enduring songs including "Still," "Sail On," "Easy" and the group's first number one hit, "Three Times a Lady," which earned a 1979 American Music Award and a People's Choice Award.
A string of Richie-penned songs took The Commodores to heights they'd never imagined, and at the dawn of the '80's, following the continued chart-topping successes of The Commodores, Richie began getting requests from other artists for their own album projects. In the fall of 1980, country-pop star, Kenny Rogers, was one of those who asked and Richie obliged with the song, "Lady," which spent six weeks at number one on the charts and remains one of Rogers' most requested songs.
While producing an album for Rogers and simultaneously working on a new Commodores album, Richie received a call from film director, Franco Zeferelli, who was looking for a theme song for his motion picture Endless Love. Again, Richie came up with a winner, writing and producing the…
WE ARE THE WORLD
Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie
Brenda Richie Publishing/Brockman Music
(SHE’S A) BRICK HOUSE
William King, Ronald LaPread, Thomas McClary, Walter Orange, Lionel Richie, Milan Williams
Cambrae Music/Hanna Music/Jobete Music Co., Inc./Brenda Richie Publishing/Libren Music/Macawrite Music/Old Fashion Publishing/Walter Orange Music