To begin with, Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and television personality. He rose to fame in the 1970s as the songwriter and co-singer of the funk group the Commodores; wrote and recorded the hit singles “Easy”, “Sail On”, “Three Times a Lady” and “Still” with the group before his departure. In 1980, he wrote and produced the US Billboard Hot 100 number one “Lady” for Kenny Rogers.
Besides, the following year he wrote and produced the single “Endless Love”, which he recorded as a duet with Diana Ross; it remains among the top 20 best-selling singles of all time and is the biggest hit of both artists’ careers. In 1982, he officially launched his solo career with the album Lionel Richie, which sold over four million copies and spawned the singles “You Are”, “My Love” and the number one single “Truly”.
His second album was a worldwide hit
Meanwhile, his second album Can’t Slow Down (1983) reached number one on the US Billboard 200 and sold over 20 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time; and remained the number one enlisted singles “All Night Long (All Night)” and “Hello”. He then co-wrote the charity single “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson in 1985, which sold over 20 million copies.
Besides, his third album Dancing on the Ceiling (1986) produced the number one single “Say You, Say Me” (from the 1985 film White Nights) and the title track at number 2. From 1986 to 1996, Richie took a hiatus from recording; since then he has released seven studio albums. He joined the singing competition American Idol as a judge from the sixteenth season.
Richie was one of the most successful balladeers
Meanwhile, during his solo career, Richie became one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s, selling over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.