Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie

Posted on January 27, 2015

He’s a living legend who started out as a member of the Commodores and went on to have a wildly successful solo career with hits like “All Night Long,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” and the country-inspired “Stuck on You.” Today, he continues to tour and has been honored with many Lifetime Achievement Awards. He should probably receive some kind of award for raising Nicole Richie, too.

June 20, 1949
Born as Lionel Brockman Richie, Jr. in Tuskegee, Alabama.

During his time at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he is a member of The Mystic along with Thomas McClary and William King.

Later 1968
Milan William leaves the local band The Jays and joins The Mystics which quickly gets a name change, becoming The Commodores. Joining them is Walter Orange, a fellow college student.

Nov. 1972
The Commodores sign with Motown Records.

July 22, 1974
The Commodores release their first album, Machine Gun.

The Commodores Machine Gun

Machine Gun

Feb. 1975
The Commodores release their second album, Caught in the Act.

Commodores Caught in the Act

Caught in the Act

Oct. 1975
The Commodores release their third album, Movin’ On.

The Commodores Movin On

Movin’ On

Oct. 28, 1975
Marries Brenda Harvey.

June 1976
The Commodores release their fourth album, Hot on the Tracks.

The Commodores Hot on the Tracks

Hot Off the Tracks

Jan. 1, 1977
Appears with The Commodores in the movie Scott Joplin.

March 30, 1977
The Commodores release their fifth album, Commodores. In the UK, the album is called Zoom.

Commodores album


Aug. 26, 1977
The single “Brick House” from Commodores album is released.

Jan. 1, 1978
Appears with The Commodores in the movie Thank God It’s Friday performing the song “Too Hot to Trot”.

May 1978
The Commodores release their sixth album, Natural High.

The Commodores Natural High

Natural High

May 1979
The single “Sail On” is the first single from their upcoming album Midnight Magic to be released.

July 1979
The Commodores release their seventh album, Midnight Magic.

The Commodores Midnight Magic

Midnight Magic

June 1980
The Commodores release their eighth album, Heroes.

The Commodores Heroes


Early 1981
He and Diana Ross sing the duet “Endless Love” and it becomes Motown’s most successful hit single.

June 22, 1981
The Commodores release their ninth album, In the Pocket. It is the last Commodores album to include Lionel Richie.

Lionel Richie In the Pocket

In the Pocket

He leaves The Commodores to pursue a solo career.

March 29, 1982
He and Diana Ross perform “Endless Love” at the Academy Awards.

After leaving The Commodores he releases his solo debut album Lionel Richie.

Lionel Richie's first album

Lionel Richie

Oct. 11, 1983
Releases his second album Can’t Slow Down. It sells over 10 million copies.

Lionel Richie Can't Slow Down

Can’t Slow Down

Can’t Slow Down wins a Grammy Award.

Summer 1984
Makes a surprise appearance at the closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympics being held in Los Angeles. He sings “All Night Long.”

Along with Michael Jackson, he co-writes the “USA For Africa” relief song “We Are the World.”

July 15, 1986
Releases his third album Dancing on the Ceiling.

Lionel Richie Dancing on the Ceiling

Dancing on the Ceiling

Sept. 8, 1986
The video for “Dancing on the Ceiling” premieres.

He and his wife adopt nine-year-old Nicole Escovedo, who after taking on their last name becomes Nicole Richie.

May 10, 1991
Appears as himself in the documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare.

May 5, 1992
He releases the compilation album Back to Front. It also contains three new tracks, “Do It to Me, “My Destiny,” and “Love, Oh Love”.

Lionel Richie Back to Front

Back to Front

Aug. 9, 1993
Divorces Brenda Harvey.

May 27, 1994
Myles Brockman Richie is born.

Dec. 21, 1995
Marries Diana Alexander.

Releases his fourth album Louder Than Words.

Lionel Richie Louder Than Words

Louder Than Words

He releases his fifth album Time.

Lionel Richie Time


He releases his sixth album Renaissance.

Lionel Richie Renaissance


June 20, 2003
Gets a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

May, 2004
He releases his seventh album Just For You.

Lionel Richie Just for You

Just For You

Aug. 11, 2004
Appears on Canadian Idol and helps out seven who will be singing some of his songs in the competition.

Sept. 12, 2006
He releases his eighth album, Coming Home.

Lionel Richie Coming Home

Coming Home

Nov. 25, 2007
He makes a surprise appearance on the Australian Idol grand finale and performs “All Night Long (All Night)”.

May 2, 2008
He receives the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Achievement Award at UCLA’s annual Spring Sing.

Dec. 31, 2008
He performs in Times Square for the New Year’s Eve celebration and ball drop.

He releases his ninth album Just Go.

Lionel Richie Just Go

Just Go

July 7, 2009
He performs “Jesus is Love” at Michael Jackson’s memorial service.

March 4, 2011
Appears on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? a show that traces celebrities’ family trees.

March 5, 2012
He releases his tenth album, Tuskegee.

Lionel Richie Tuskegee


June 22, 2014
He appears on Oprah’s Master Class on the OWN network.

June 29, 2014
He receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards.

July 17, 2014
His daughter Nicole Richie’s reality show, Candidly Nicole, premieres. In the first episode, Lionel tries to teach Nicole how to parallel park.

Nov. 20, 2014
His is honored with the Legend of Live award at the 2014 Billboard Touring Awards. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to live music and who are committed to the live performance and creating a concert experience for fans.