Now that ‘American Idol’ is back you might want to know these five important facts about judge Lionel Richie!
1.) Lionel Richie, 68, is an American singer who got his start in the R&B singing group The Commodores. The group formed in 1968 and their most notable single was “Brick House”. Once signed to Motown Records, The Commodores opened for The Jackson 5 which helped launch them into international fame. Despite the group’s success, Lionel began writing songs for other artists like Kenny Rogers and Diana Ross. After joining Diana for a duet on “Endless Love”, Lionel decided to pursue a solo career.
2.) Lionel’s self-titled first solo album came out in 1982. It contained one of his biggest singles to date, “Truly”. Lionel’s sophomore album, Can’t Slow Down, was released in 1983 and ended up winning two Grammys! Lionel has released over 10 solo albums since, with his latest Tuskegee being released in 2012. Additionally he’s also released three live albums from his tours all over the world. Pretty coo, huh?
3.) Yes, he is Nicole and Sofia’s dad. While most people know Lionel for his iconic music career, some of the younger generation are only familiar with him because he is the father of Nicole Richie and Sofia Richie. Nicole was adopted by Lionel and his wife, Brenda Harvey, in 1983, when she was just two years old. In 1995 Lionel re-married, leading to the birth of Sofia in 1998.
4.) Lionel is a grandfather thanks to his first daughter, Nicole. Nicole gave birth to her daughter with husband Joel Madden in 2008. As of 2009 Joel and Nicole have two children together!
5.) He works hard to support and bring awareness to breast cancer. As per his Wikipedia page, Lionel has raised over $ 3 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. If you’re wondering why Lionel is so supportive, it’s because his grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her 80’s. Not only did survive, but she went on to live until she was 103 years old!