Lionel Richie is going strong on his 69th birthday

posted by DeWayne & Tamme -

LIONEL RICHIE:  Still going strong on his 69th birthday

Happy 69th birthday to the legendary Lionel Richie.  He's still going strong more than four decades after joining The Commodores.  Here's a look at his amazing career:

  • The lead singer on most of The Commodores' hits.
  • He initially joined the band as its sax player.
  • He went on to become one of the top solo stars of the '80s.
  • His Can't Slow Down was Motown's best-selling album of the 1980s.
  • The video for his song "All Night Long" was produced by Michael Nesmith, formerly of The Monkees.
  • He won an Oscar for the song "Say You, Say Me" from White Nights.
  • Lionel and his first wife Brenda adopted daughter Nicole, who became famous on reality TV.
  • He's a judge on ABC's reboot of American Idol.
  • Lionel's current Las Vegas residency is at Planet Hollywood.

Lionel Richie is on quite a roll -- in just the last six months, he's received the Kennedy Center Honors, left his hand- and footprints in cement at Hollywood's Chinese Theater, and became a panelist on the revival of American Idol.

He's also set to tour Britain this June. To promote those shows, he appeared on ITV's Lorraine Show, a talker similar to our Ellen DeGeneres.

Lionel Richie says he could have never have imagined the way his career would play out:

"I was thinking of retiring as a Commodore, and then something came along called Kenny Rogers and 'Lady' and now this solo career. OK. Now, you're supposed to just ride that all the way out, right? And then, at the ripe old age of 200, someone calls on the phone and says, 'Would you like to be the host of, one of the co-hosts of the American Idol and here's your hands and feet in the cement -- and on top of that, the Kennedy Center Honors."

Yet his life isn't without setbacks. Lionel says he was crushed by the death of his father in 1990. "My father was ill and I went through a very -- I won’t say a depression, a massive depression, because, you know, my dad was my hero." The birth of his son Miles helped him snap out of it. "It was something about the birth of my kid. Miles came along and [my older daughter] Nicole was already there, and I realized I had a group of people that were kind of looking up to me to be the head of the house."

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