Monday, August 22, 2011

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Lionel Richie

Artist:Lionel Richie
Album:The Definitive Collection

Lionel Richie wrote and sang all of the ballads when he was a member of The Commodores. So when he left, it wasn't surprising that he continued in that vein and became one of the best selling recording artists of the 80s. Hello was the fourth of his five number one hits in 1984. He was born June 20, 1949 in Tuskeegee, AL and lived with his grandparents across the street from Tuskeegee Institute. His family moved to Joliet, IL and he was a good enough tennis player to get an athletic scholarship at Tuskeegee Institute. The Commodores were formed there. By the late 70s, Richie had started writing for outside artists. His song Lady was a number one hit for Kenny Rogers in 1980 and he produced Rogers' album Share Your Love. Then he wrote and sang with Diana Ross the theme for the film Endless Love and that was Richie's first number one hit in 1981. So he left The Commodores to go solo in 1982. His first single from his 1982 debut album Lionel Richie was Truly and it also reached number one. And the album sold four million copies. His second album Can't Slow Down did even better and the single All Night Long was his third chart topper. Hello was also from that album and may be his most popular song. The ridiculously sappy video with Richie as a professor (!) smitten with a blind student probably had a lot to do with it. His final number one hit Say You, Say Me was the first single from the 1985 album Dancing On The Ceiling. With one exception, all of these songs were ballads. So that's what Richie is known for. You can get all his hits on this budget comp. Other than a 1987 recording with the country group Alabama, Richie took a break until 1996. His father died in 1990 so no doubt that became his priority. He hasn't had the same success since then though his 2006 CD Coming Home was certified Gold and reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 200. His latest CD Just Go was released in 2009 and he announced plans for a Commodores reunion. So Lionel Richie may never return to the heights of the 80s but he's still doing pretty good. Here's the video for Hello by Lionel Richie.

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