BIG Music News: Lionel Richie, U2

LIONEL RICHIE:  Pop icon talks about his signature song "Hello" and plans with Mariah Carey

Lionel Richie knows his love songs can supply the soundtrack for a relationship. He tells USA Today, "'Hello' is definitely the pick-up line of life. So they move in with 'Hello.' You have to have strategic shots, right? 'Truly' is the closer. 'Three Times a Lady,' it means it’s just all over. But if you don’t start with 'Hello,' you’re going to lose. Like a big dog."

When asked about "Hello," he brought up the latest of many memes based on the song title.

"If someone sends me one more tee shirt, I'll give you the one that's lately. There's a guy who was at... there's a restaurant in town, or somewhere... and he's got, 'Hello is it meat you're looking for?"

While Lionel has never had to deal with the ridiculous lyrical confusion of songs like "Bad Moon Rising" ("there's a bathroom on the right") or "Foxy Lady" ("'scuse me, while I kiss this guy"), he says "Brick House" is one many fans sing incorrectly. "The real words are, 'Chicka ca, chicka ca, chicka now now.' And they go, 'Shake it down, shake it down, shake it down now.' And I go, 'No, no, it's, 'Chicka ca.' The whole audience is singing the wrong song."

With his All the Hits Tour with Mariah Carey now just three weeks away, he was asked if the two superstars would join forces on a song or two the way Chicago has with Earth Wind and Fire or James Taylor with Carole King?

"You know what, we're scheming on that right now. The thing about it is she has such a brilliant set of songs and we're trying to figure out, 'OK now, she could be on stage for two hours by herself and the same with me. So we're trying to figure out where's the novelty in the middle. Probably the best surprise to tell you is you have to come to the show to see that one."

U2:  Rolling Stone's '50 Greatest Songs of U2'

With U2 down to the last two shows on their Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour -- tonight (Thursday) in East Rutherford, New Jersey and Saturday in Cleveland -- Rolling Stone has compiled what they feel are the "50 Greatest U2 Songs."

Top 10:

  1. "One"
  2. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
  3. "Beautiful Day"
  4. "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
  5. "Bad"
  6.  "Where the Streets Have No Name"
  7. "With or Without You"
  8. "Moment of Surrender"
  9. "I Will Follow"
  10. "Even Better Than the Real Thing"

And the last 10:

  • 41: "Volcano"
  • 42: "In a Little While"
  • 43: "Lemon"
  • 44: "No Line on the Horizon"
  • 45: "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me"
  • 46: "Sweetest Thing"
  • 47: "North and South of the River"
  • 48: "Acrobat"
  • 49: "Numb"
  • 50" "40"

Speaking of U2...

Prior to U2's performance this Saturday in Cleveland, Bono and The Edge will be on Parliament Hill in Ontario, Canada to play one song for Canada Day, a celebration of the nation's 150th birthday.

It's not exactly clear why two Irishmen are participating when such notable Canadian artists as Rush, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, Robbie Robertson and others are not.

Justine Lafond of the Prime Minister's office explained the choice. "Given Canada’s role on the international stage, celebrating this key year for Canada wouldn’t be complete without including someone from abroad to speak on how our country is viewed elsewhere in the world. It is fitting that these guests participate in this special Canada Day celebration as they hold dear many of the same humanitarian values that Canadians do.”

Cleveland is the last show on U2's first North American leg. The band has a show tonight (Thursday) in East Rutherford, New Jersey.


Dennis DeYoung will perform at Hoedown for Hodgkins, a benefit for his niece Allison, who was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. The show will take place on July 9th, in Homer Glen, Illinois.

Passengers on a train out of London were surprised recently to see Paul McCartney traveling alone.

The Beach Boys' October 21st show at Norman, Oklahoma's Riverwind Casino will benefit programs fighting childhood hunger in the state. Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean will be a special guest star.

The first half of a biography of George Martin will be published in September. Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin – The Early Years, 1926-1966 was written by Kenneth Womack, who has written several other Beatles-related books.

Tommy James will headline 4thFest in Coralville, Iowa. The annual outdoor show has a tradition of featuring classic pop stars: Kansas, America and Little River Band have played in previous years.

Elvis Presley wrapped up three days of taping and production for his Comeback Special on this night in 1968. That studio at NBC’s longtime Burbank headquarters is now home to the daytime soap Days of Our Lives.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have added another show at the Hollywood Bowl on September 22nd. Their first show, on the 21st, sold out. This will now be the final date on their 40th anniversary tour.

Neil Young being Neil Young, the release date for his long-shelved acoustic album Hitchhiker has been pushed back to August 4th. 

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