In an market where formats keep changing, the R&B singer has actually kept up through the time while still being true to his voice. Bill Whitaker reports:


Four decades after starting his meteoric climb to superstardom, and Lionel Richie is still packing them in, at locations like the O2 Arena in London.

Long after countless of his contemporaries" stars burned out, Richie"s quiet shines -- these days v a warmth glow. His generations of fans flock to bask in it as he romances his audience.

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Women weep as soon as he sings; and also men? "Men don"t say much," he told Whitaker. "They speak to my name and give the mystery signal that states everything: "Lionel …" (clenches fist) "You"re alright, man. Cave in there, boy!""


Last year Richie released his 14th solo album, "Just Go," a collaboration with contemporary songwriters half his age.

"I determined instead of trying to figure out what must Lionel Richie be in 2009, I"d pose that inquiry to some of the biggest writers of the time," that said.

Like chart-topping hip-hop artist Akon.

"They recognize their generation, they understand their technology, they recognize their sound far better than anybody," Richie said. "The just thing i can deliver that"s various is, ns sound like Lionel Richie. Can"t change that sound!"


To clock Lionel Richie and also Akon execute "Just Go" click the video player below.


Lionel Richie - simply Go through LionelRichieVEVO on YouTube

When inquiry what that was favor to work-related with Richie, Akon said, "It"s an uncontrollable, happy feeling. Like, I understand a the majority of artists would love being in mine position."

In place to work-related with one artist who has sold more than 100 million records. He"s winner a golden Globe, an Oscar and five Grammys, which are on display in what that calls his "Blood, Sweat and also Tears Room."

He remains a music heavyweight by never resting ~ above his laurels.

"The industry keeps changing; it"s never ever the same," the said. "You can go to bed tonight and also style is this way; you have the right to wake increase the next morning, the format has changed."

Richie"s style absolutely has readjusted since his breakout v the funky R&B band, The Commodores, in 1968.

"I was a full-fledged, afro-wearing, platform shoes-wearing Commodore!" he said.


To watch The Commodores execute "Brick House" click on the video clip player below:


The Commodores - Brick residence by steelydan1979 top top YouTube

He flourished up in Alabama, and went to Tuskegee University, wherein the 6 Commodores met together freshmen. Richie was planning to it is in an accountant. Lock soon found the stage had higher appeal and also bigger rewards 보다 the books.

"It to be the many amazing thing in the civilization for me, once you pick up a microphone, girlfriend grab the band, and also girls began screaming. Over and also out! It to be the start of something."

Something big!

The band played at the top of the charts with the 1970s with funky beats and also ballads.

They set out to be the black color Beatles; they finished up through a sound all your own.

""You"re once, twice, 3 times a lady..." Now, nobody, not one R&B tape in the world, was in this category," the said. "And if it worked, it was gonna it is in amazing.


"And if that didn"t work, I"m out of business!" the laughed.

It worked.

Richie"s songwriting to be working, too. "Endless Love," a duet the wrote and sang with Diana Ross, to be Ross" biggest-selling single ever. The came right on the heels the the smash hit, "Lady," i m sorry he wrote for Kenny Rogers.

To watch Lionel Richie and Diana Ross perform "Endless Love" click the video clip player below.

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Diana Ross and Lionel Richie - endless Love (Live in ~ the Academy Awards) through DianaRossTV on YouTube

By the early on "80s, Richie"s star was outshining the rest of the group.

Their response? "It wasn"t good. That wasn"t good, because you could see the stress on their faces, because it wasn"t "Lionel Richie and also the Commodores." i was a Commodore."

"These were her buddies," Whitaker said.


"It was not even buddies. These men were my family."

But it to be time come go. Richie broke from the Commodores to launch a solo career.

But there to be an up-side. Paris solo, Richie"s career was like a rocket acquisition off, and also hitting warp speed.

His very first solo album, "Lionel Richie," sold much more than 4 million copies; his second, "Can"t sluggish Down," earned 2 Grammys.

To clock the music video for Lionel Richie"s "Hello," click on the video player below.


Hello by Lionel Richie through GiraldiMedia ~ above YouTube

And Richie and Michael Jackson composed the supergroup mega-hit, "We are the World" for African relief in 1985.

Now a bona fide superstar, he to be -- like the title of his following album -- "Dancing top top the Ceiling."


But he explained his life at the moment as "Constantly album, tour, album, tour."

"Were friend able to gain it?" Whitaker asked.

"Get a auto to 100 mile an hour, roll under the window and stick your head out the window. Phone call me what you see. That"s pretty lot where it to be going."

"It"s a blur?"

"Little vignettes happening follow me the way."

Vignettes prefer closing the "84 Olympic games in Los Angeles, and also winning the Oscar for "Say You, speak Me," native the movie "White Nights."


say You, say Me by Lionel Richie - subject on YouTube

But at the height of his career, he just had to bail out. Exhausted, his first marriage break up, he went house to care for his noble father.


"I"m thinking, it"s going to it is in a couple of months and then I"ll get ago to work," the said. "It was two-and-a-half years."

After his father passed away in 1990, Lionel Richie went back to music, just to uncover that music had moved top top -- R&B overshadowed by rap. Though his recent releases have been moderate access time in the U.S., he remains a large star in Europe, Asia and the middle East. His pan adore him; critics haven"t constantly been therefore kind, with comments like "sappy" and "cheesy."

"Yeah, oh yeah," Richie said. "And then you realize, the best gangster-rappers in the world, the best heavy metal guys, sooner or later on they"re going come say, "I love you" to somebody Lionel Richie play in the background!"

These days, he"s attracting a brand-new generation the fans, who have one burn question: "Are you Nicole Richie"s dad?"

His embraced daughter, Nicole, ideal known because that her truth TV show with Paris Hilton, "The straightforward Life," was getting much more press 보다 Richie … and also not all good.

Whitaker said, "It must be pains to check out her as tabloid fodder."

"Well, ns told her when she acquired into it, "When you speak you wanna it is in famous, what comes through that is the survive of it. Famous, the looks simple, yet it spend you.""


But now that she"s the mother of his grandchildren, the says, "the most amazing thing happened: She acquired it in balance."

Today, divorce from his 2nd wife, in ~ 61, he"s obtained two younger children, a grand house, and, he"ll call you, a great life.

He renders it every sound for this reason easy.

"For years I supplied to journey a Ferrari and also I make the efforts to journey it as rapid as i could," he said. "And climate I uncovered out the secret to having actually a Ferrari: you desire to journey it as slow as you can so people can see girlfriend in it!