Lionel Richie: "We've Made Amateur Music Mainstream"

25 September 2014, 17:08 | Updated: 29 September 2014, 17:15

Lionel Richie posed

Lionel Richie believes today's pop acts have no longevity

Lionel Richie has admitted he thinks the quality of music released today isn't a scratch on that of his era.

He believes iconic acts such as Michael Jackson and Madonna are still reigning over pop stars of the moment such as Miley Cyrus because of their memorable sound.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Lionel said: "We've made amateur music mainstream. There's a difference between a stylist and a singer - everybody can sing! Go to karaoke - there are some guys seriously singing their asses off! But do they have a unique voice, or distinct voice?

"Twenty years from now, let's take anybody - where's the body of work? I'm going to judge you not by your popularity but by your longevity, your staying records. I'm thinking about Miley, Justin Bieber."

Comparing the industry during the 80s, in which Lionel had his big break, to now, the former Commodores singer says performers today don't have the same staying power when it comes to music no matter how memorable their gimmicks are.

"The beautiful part of where we were - we had shock value. But what came with shock value was hit after hit after hit. Madonna was outrageous - but she had a catalogue of music that was unbelievable.

"At the end of all the theatrics with Michael [Jackson], he had nothing but the most fabulous catalogue. Now, we've got a lot of theatrics - but where's the song that is going to stick around forever?"

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