Happy Birthday, Lionel Richie!
The last time Lionel Richie really made headlines was when he attended the BRIT Awards where Kanye West performed "All Day." Richie was aghast as he watched the aggressive and superior version of the single. It turned out he was offended about the N-word thrown about in "All Day." Nevertheless, Richie is a soul icon who has been cranking out hit songs for three decades. The veteran singer-songwriter turns 66 years old today (June 19).
Richie is legendary mostly because he managed to sell 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the highest-selling artists ever. His songs are still some of the most recognizable, parody-ready singles decades after they dropped. "Hello" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs chart, but a lot of people remember the creepiness of a blind student making a bust of Richie that did not look like him at all.
There were multiple other hits, too: 1982's "Truly," 1983's "All Night Long (All Night)" and 1985's "Say You, Say Me." Richie also co-wrote 1985's famed "We Are The World" mega-collaboration with the late Michael Jackson.
Richie hit his peak in 1983 when he dropped the diamond-selling Can't Slow Down. Almost every song on the LP hit the Top 10 of the Billboard Songs chart. After being crowned the third best-selling album of 1984, it went on to nab a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1985 beating out Prince's far more highly regarded Purple Rain soundtrack.
Today, Richie continues to tour all over the world and entertain fans of all ages. The veteran crooner will perform at this year's Glastonbury Festival in the U.K., which, ironically, features the biggest headliner at the event Kanye West.