How many children does Lionel Richie have, and who are they?

9 May 2024, 11:32

How many children does Lionel Richie have, and who are they? Here's everything you need to know.
How many children does Lionel Richie have, and who are they? Here's everything you need to know. Picture: Getty

By Thomas Edward

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He was no doubt 'Dancing On The Ceiling' when he became a dad.

Well, it wasn't just a one-off for soul singer extraordinaire Lionel Richie - he's once, twice, three times a father too.

Lionel has three children in total from his two ex-marriages to Brenda Harvey and Diane Alexander.

The prospect of being a doting dad to a brood of kids was slightly daunting to the care-free Richie at first, despite taking a stance as "a tough dad".

He told People in 2019 that his perspective on parenting is that "you have to approach it with a tad bit of humour."

"With my kids, I know their job is to completely scare me to death. And they're doing a great job, by the way … my job is to embarrass them as much as I could, as long as I'm here."

The 'Hello' heartthrob also attributes his children to bringing him out of "a massive depression" after the loss of his father in 1990, having to step up to become "the head of the house", and doing an excellent job by the looks of it.

So, who are Lionel Richie's children? In order of eldest to youngest, here's everything you need to know:

Nicole Richie: Born 21st September 1981

Lionel Richie and Nicole Richie in 2024. (Photo by River Callaway/Variety via Getty Images)
Lionel Richie and Nicole Richie in 2024. (Photo by River Callaway/Variety via Getty Images). Picture: Getty

Nicole Richie's birth parents were close friends of Lionel and his then-wife Brenda Harvey, and sought help from Lionel after realising they couldn't financial support their young child.

When she was just three years old, Lionel and Brenda became Nicole's primary guardians, and later adopted her in 1990 when she was nine.

Lionel called Nicole a "godsend" and wrote his 1986 hit 'Ballerina Girl' about his first child.

First recognised as one of the hell-raising reality television duo alongside Paris Hilton on 2003 series The Good Life, Nicole's life off the screen was just as hectic.

Struggling with drug addiction, she was arrested on a handful of occasions, and was in the middle of a series of controversies which included crashing her car more than once.

Nicole turned to her dad to help her. In a 2006 interview with Vanity Fair, Nicole revealed: "I literally didn't care about anything. I thought I was getting away with everything, when the reality was that I was arrested three times and had five car accidents. Two were totals."

Lionel and Brenda divorced not long after they'd adopted Nicole which dramatically impacted her, having lived through the instability of being given away by her birth parents before that.

After straightening out, she found love with rocker Joel Madden in 2006 who welcomed daughter Harlow Madden in 2008 and son Sparrow Madden in 2009, before marrying a year later in 2010.

Dad Lionel revealed on The Drew Barrymore Show in 2023 that Nicole has certainly put him through the ringer, but has "turned out perfectly" after becoming a wife and mother.

"If I lived through that. I can live through anything. You all almost killed me. I was somewhere between meditation and medication."

Miles Brockman Richie: Born 27th May 1994

Lionel and Miles in 2020.
Lionel and Miles in 2020. Picture: Getty

Miles Brockman Richie is Lionel's first biological child, who he shares with his second wife Diane Alexander.

The couple divorced in 2003 however, when Miles was just nine years old, who would then spend more time at his mother's rather than the showbiz world that his dad was a part of.

He admitted that this is why "I'm a mama's boy [because] I grew up with my mom", and that was why he was shy as a youngster.

After dropping out of UCLA where he studied accounting, Miles began to model more frequently, and came out of his shell.

"You have to push yourself," he said in 2018 after making his runway debut during New York Fashion Week.

"My dad and my mom keep pushing me forward every single day, and every day I'm determined to be better. I want people to like me for me, rather than like me for who my family is."

Since 2019 however, Miles dipped out of the spotlight once again after being accused of making a bomb threat at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 according to the Metropolitan Police.

Sofia Richie: Born 24th August 1998

Lionel and Sofia in 2020.
Lionel and Sofia in 2020. Picture: Getty

Sofia Richie is Lionel's first biological daughter, and the second child he shared with second wife Diane Alexander.

Her godfather is none other than 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson, who was a close friend and confidante of Lionel's throughout their ascents to superstardom.

She recalls childhood memories at Neverland being some of her favourites, and remains a close friend to his daughter Paris Jackson still.

Though Sofia dabbled with music in her younger years, she switched focus to modelling as she felt she could never live up to her dad's levels of achievement in music.

"I can never get away from the fact that my dad is Lionel Richie," she told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2018.

"I think that's actually what drives me to work and do my own thing and want to make my own mark … Because I want to be seen as my own person — even though I have all these amazing people in my life that I love so much."

Since then, the model and social media personality has gone on to work on campaigns for major brands like Adidas, Stuart Weitzman, Tommy Hilfiger, and Michael Kors, and featured of the covers of magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Es Magazine, and Japan's Vogue.

After briefly dating Justin Bieber, Sofia announced her engagement to Elliot Grainge in 2022, the son of Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge.

Lionel was approving of the match, saying: "I love Elliot. I've known him since he was 12 … It was one of those things where I don't have to go back and check out the kid. I know who it is."

A year later in 2023, Lionel had the privilege of walking his daughter down the aisle at a lavish wedding ceremony in Antibes, France, later dancing together to 'My Girl' at the reception.

In 2024, Sofia announced she was expecting her first child, with Lionel stating he was "pumped" to be a grandfather again.