Lionel Richie's 11 best songs of all time, ranked

19 June 2019, 17:04 | Updated: 20 June 2019, 09:22

Lionel Richie

With over 100 million records sold worldwide, Lionel Richie is not only a five-time Grammy Award winner but also one of the world's best-selling artists of all time.

We could be here 'All Night Long' listing his best tracks, so here's a handful for starters, to celebrate his 70th birthday in 2019!

11. Penny Lover

This was Lionel's third consecutive #1 single on the Billboard’s Adult Contemporary Chart, as well as featuring in the top ten of the Hot 100.

Written with his then-wife Brenda Harvey-Richie, it was the fifth and final single from his huge album Can't Slow Down

10. 'My Love'

This was one of Lionel's first ever solo hits after leaving the Commodores, though it only managed number 70 in the UK!

It also features none other than Kenny Rogers on backing vocals, after Lionel wrote his smash hit 'Lady'.

9. 'Just for You' (Tuskegee version)

In 2012, Lionel recorded an album entirely of country reinterpretations of his previously released songs, each performed with a different guest artist.

The album is named after the Alabama city where Richie was born. This song features country singer Billy Currington, and was originally on his 2004 album of the same name, and is about the growing disillusionment one can get as they grow up.

8. 'Truly'

This was Richie’s first proper solo single and also one of his biggest ballads.

Released in 1982, the song helped Lionel become a bonafide solo star away from his group The Commodores. 

7. 'Running with the Night'

Lionel co-wrote this rock anthem with legendary songwriter Cynthia Weil, for his album Can't Slow Down.

The song also featured Toto's Steve Lukather and... Richard Marx (again).

6. 'Endless Love' (with Diana Ross)

Read more: The greatest duets of the 1980s

Quite possibly the greatest duet of all time? Certainly one of the most successful.

Ross and Richie recorded this song for Motown, and it was used as the theme for the film adaptation of Scott Spencer's novel Endless Love. While the film was a modest box-office success, the song became the second biggest-selling single of the year. 

5. 'Stuck On You'

This reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, and saw Lionel take on a totally new sound.

A fan of country music since his days living in Tuskegee, Lionel took a risk on the country sound and it worked.

4. 'Say You, Say Me'

Topping three Billboard charts in the States, this track also bagged an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.

It was used for the movie White Nights, which also featured the song 'Separate Lives' by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin.

3. 'Dancing On The Ceiling'

Taken from the 1986 album of the same name, this party anthem was a top 10 hit around the world.

After the success of the album, Lionel actually took a hiatus from the music industry for six years.

2. 'Hello'

Read more: The Story of... 'Hello'

One of Lionel's biggest ever hits, this song went to number one in both the UK and US in 1984.

Richie initially felt that the song was "corny" but "by the time I finished the verse, I fell in love with the song again". And you've got to love that music video!

1. 'All Night Long (All Night)'

Read more: The Story of... 'All Night Long'

In this Caribbean-influence song, Richie admitted that ‘African’ lyrics, such as ‘Tom bo li de say de moi ya’ and ‘Jambo jumbo’, were in fact made-up gibberish. He described these portions as a “wonderful joke”, after he discovered that he lacked the time to hire a translator.

Richie said: “What I try to write about are real events. There will always be an easy like Sunday morning. There will always be an endless love. There will always be an all night long.” A young Richard Marx recorded backing vocals for this song.