On Air Now
The Smooth Sanctuary at 7 with Gary Vincent 7pm - 10pm
31 December 2020, 00:28
Lionel Richie is one of the world's most popular singer-songwriters, and he's as busy as ever after turning 70.
From Lionel Richie's children and family to his background, here are the important facts about the Commodores singer every fan should know:
Lionel Richie was born on June 20, 1949. He celebrated his 71st birthday in 2020.
He was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, and was the son of Lionel Brockman Richie Sr and Alberta R Foster.
He was a star tennis player in his youth, and once considered studying divinity to become a priest in the Episcopal Church, but eventually chose a musical career.
In 1975, Lionel married his college sweetheart, Brenda Harvey.
In 1986, while he was still married, Lionel began a relationship with Diane Alexander.
He later separated from Harvey, who in 1988 allegedly discovered her husband and Alexander together in a Beverly Hills hotel room by saying she was "room service."
Lionel and Harvey divorced in 1993 after nearly 18 years of marriage.
He married Diane Alexander in 1995, but the marriage ended in 2003.
For the past few years, he has been in a relationship with Lisa Parigi, who is in her thirties.
In 1983, Lionel and his first wife adopted Nicole Camille Escovedo, the two-year-old daughter of one of the members of his band, and niece of drummer Sheila E.
They raised her as their daughter, Nicole Richie, and adopted her legally when she was nine. She has since become a reality TV star, most famous for her show The Simple Life alongside Paris Hilton.
With his second wife, he has a son, Miles Brockman (born 1994), and a daughter, Sofia Richie (born 1998). Both are now models.
In 2017, Sofia was said to be dating reality TV star and Kardashian family member Scott Disick, something Lionel wasn't too happy about at the time. She has also dated Lewis Hamilton, Brooklyn Beckham and Justin Bieber among others.
In 2018, Miles was arrested at Heathrow Airport after being refused on a flight and threatening that he had a bomb. He was later released.
Lionel became a grandfather in 2008, when Nicole Richie gave birth to a baby girl with the lead singer of US band Good Charlotte, Joel Madden. Richie's second grandchild was born to the couple in 2009.
As a student, Lionel started a number of R&B groups in the mid-1960s.
In 1968, he became a singer and saxophonist with the Commodores. They signed a contract with Atlantic Records in 1968 for one record, before joining Motown Records as a support act to The Jackson 5.
The Commodores then started finding success in their own right, scoring hits with songs like 'Brick House', 'Easy' and 'Three Times a Lady'.
By the late 1970s, Lionel was writing hit songs for other artists, particularly the number one 'Lady' by lifelong friend Kenny Rogers.
Spurred on by this success, Lionel left the Commodores in the early 1980s and embarked on a solo career, which paid off, as he became one of the most successful solo artists of the decade.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Lionel Richie has a net worth of around $200 million (£147m).