Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. is 70 years old this week.
He was born in Tuskegee, Alabama and formed The Commodores when he was 19. He got an initial recording contract with Atlantic records but moved to Motown the following year as a support act to the Jackson 5.
With The Commodores they charted 16 UK hits including their only chart-topper Three Times a Lady, a title Lionel got from a speech his father made at a family party in which he was talking about Lionel’s mother.
He began writing hits for other artists including Kenny Rogers and Diana Ross and he duetted with her on the theme to the film Endless Love. In 1985, he teamed up with Michael Jackson to write the million-selling We Are the World by USA for Africa which sold over 22 million copies and won his a Grammy.
His 1983 album Can’t Slow Down won him another Grammy for Album of the Year and sold eight million copies. It contained the hit singles All Night Long (All Night), Running with the Night, Penny Lover, Stuck on You and the number one hit, Hello.
Let’s remember his third UK hit, You Are from 1983.