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Lionel Richie

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Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr. was born on June 20, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama. He grew up near the campus of the Tuskegee Institute, the place where most of his family had worked for a couple of generations. In 1968, while still in college he joined the Commodores becoming their lead singer and saxophonist. That same year, the Commodores signed with Atlantic Records a one-record deal. Then the group moved to Motown Records becoming that label’s most successful act. By the early 70’s the Commodores had become one of the most popular soul groups of that decade. Richie wrote and sang some of their biggest hits such as "Easy", "Three Times A Lady", and "Still". By the late 70’s, Richie started to write songs for other artists like the number one hit “Lady” for Kenny Rogers.  Despite the fact that the Commodores were a democratic band, tensions started to rise when Richie started to captivate everyone's attention. In 1981, he sang “Endless Love”, a duet with Diana Ross, the song became one of Motown’s biggest hits. Next year, with tensions rising in the group and his success on the rise, Lionel Richie decided to leave the group and start a solo career.

Lionel’s self named debut album, Lionel Richie (1982), was an instant hit with its chart-topping single “Truly”. In 1993, he released Can't Slow Down, which shot him into the first rank of international superstars. A number one hit, “All Night Long”, was taken from the two time Grammy award winner album.

In about 1984, Lionel and his wife Brenda Richie informally adopted three-year-old Nicole Richie; the adoption was formalized in 1990.

In 1986, Lionel released Dancing On The Ceiling, which became widely popular but didn’t match the success of his previous album. In 1992, Motown released a compilation titled Back to Front which included three new songs. Still keeping his style but trying to update his sound from the previous decade, he released Louder Than Words in 1996. It was followed by 1998’s Time which enjoyed just moderate success as its predecessor. In 2000, he released Renaissance that got a favorable reception in Europe. In 2004, while enduring his divorce from his second wife Diane, he released Just For You.

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