After forming a number of R&B groups throughout the mid-'60s, Lionel Richie joined the Commodores as a singer and saxophonist in 1968. The band were soon signed to Atlantic Records, supporting groups like the Jackson 5.
Through the '70s the band rose to fame with hits like "Brick House", and Richie's more romantic, easy-listening songs "Easy" and "Three Times a Lady".
In the '70s, Richie also wrote songs for other artists, co-writing the Temptations' classic "Happy People".
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In 1982, Richie released his self-titled debut solo album, which included a number of hits, including the No. 1 single "Truly", as well as the top-5 hits "You Are" and "My Love", instantly establishing him as one of the most successful balladeers of the '80s.
'We Are The World'
In 1985, Richie and a huge array of fellow pop hitmakers recorded the classic charity mega-single "We Are the World" under the supergroup name USA for Africa.
Richie co-wrote the song with Michael Jackson, and the recording included everyone from Cyndi Lauper to Diana Ross.
"We Are the World" topped the charts all over the world and became the fastest-selling single in U.S. pop chart history, helping to raise over $60 million since its release.
Top Of The Pops
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Richie followed up his successful solo debut with the album Can't Slow Down, which was an even bigger smash, winning him two Grammys, including the coveted Album of the Year, and spawning the all-time classic single "All Night Long".
The album also featured the iconic song "Hello", as well as top-10 hits "Stuck on You", "Running with the Night" and "Penny Lover".
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Lionel Richie won an Oscar in 1986 for his instantly iconic classic "Say You, Say Me", which was featured in the musical drama "White Nights".
The song was No. 1 on the Hot 100 for four weeks and was ranked the No. 2 song of 1986 on Billboard's Year-End Hot 100 chart.
One Last Smash
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Richie release his last widely popular album Dancing on the Ceiling in 1986. Along with "Say You, Say Me", the album also featured the top-10 hits "Dancing on the Ceiling", "Love Will Conquer All" and "Ballerina Girl".
Following the album's release, Richie wouldn't record another full album until 1996's Louder Than Words. He has continued to release new albums and songs, to mild success with his established fanbase.
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During the '00s, Lionel's daughter Nicole Richie rose to fame with the reality series "The Simple Life", co-starring friend Paris Hilton.
In 2006, the father-daughter pair teamed up on a music video for Lionel's Adult Contemporary chart hit "I Call It Love", featuring Nicole.
Kennedy Center Honoree
Richie was awarded a prestigious Kennedy Center Honour in 2017 for his lifetime of achievement in the music and entertainment industry.
In 2018, Richie joined the revival of reality competition series "American Idol", serving as a judge alongside pop star Katy Perry and country star Luke Bryan.
Rock Hall Inductee
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In 2022, Richie achieved one of the highest honours in American music, being announced as one of the year's 14 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Richie will officially be inducted during a ceremony in Los Angeles on Nov. 5.