Lionel Richie Wiki: Singer, Net Worth, ‘Hello’, Sofia Richie & Facts To Know

The American singer and songwriter, Lionel Richie, is many things packed in one. Here in this piece, we’ll take a look at his net worth and facts about him.


About Lionel Richie, The American Singer

Lionel Richie is the foster son of Alberta R. who lived between 1917 and 2001 and Lionel Brockman Richie Sr who lived between 1915 and 2004. He was born in the US city of Tuskegee in Alabama and that was where he grew up too. Lionel Richie had his high school education at the Joliet Township High School from where he won a tennis scholarship to study at the campus where he grew up, that is Tuskegee Institute. Unfortunately, Lionel Richie couldn’t complete his training and had to drop out of the Institute just after he completed his sophomore year. After the dropout experience, Lionel Richie felt he could initially enroll to study divinity, where he thought to become a priest in his denominational Episcopal Church. However, it wasn’t long until he discovered he wasn’t priest material; hence, Lionel Richie settled to explore the music world. To ensure that his dream of becoming a renowned musician became real, Lionel Richie joined the Kappa Kappa Psi fraternity band which was renowned then. He equally became an active member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity from which he started rising to stardom in the music industry. Today, Lionel Richie isn’t just a singer; he is also a songwriter, an actor, and producer of records. His name has become a household one in American as well as the world’s music industry and as such, a lot is worth knowing about this 68-year-old Alabama star. So, relax and unwind as we go through his profile, learn some facts, and discover this star’s net worth.

Family Life of Lionel Richie, The American Singer

Lionel Richie has been married twice and has divorced twice too. His first marriage was to Brenda Harvey who was Richie’s sweetheart when he was still in college. The wedding took place on the 18th of October, 1975. The couple couldn’t have a child of their own and 8 years after their marriage, they decided to adopt (though informally) Nicole Camille Escovedo who was at that time a two-year-old daughter of one of Richie’s band members. Obviously, Nicole Camille Escovedo had to be rechristened to Nicole Richie but not until when she turned 9 years old and was legally adopted by Lionel Richie and Brenda Harvey. So, from the point Nicole Richie was legally adopted, she became the daughter of the couple and was raised as such by them. However, trouble was soon to break out between the couple when it became known that Lionel Richie was going out with a certain Diane Alexander while still married to Brenda Harvey. The affair was found out in 1988 by Brenda Harvey when Lionel Richie and Diane Alexander were having a nice time at the Beverly Hills hotel. The incident led to a confrontation between the couple and, to cut a long story short, it formed the basis for their divorce on August 9, 1993. That was some 18 years after they had been married. The divorce cleared the way for Lionel Richie to marry Diane Alexander and the wedding took place on the 21st of December, 1995. Of course, prior to this official marriage, the duo had been cohabiting and had given birth to a son named Miles Brockman who was born on May 27, 1994. Three years after their marriage, precisely on August 24, 1998, Lionel Richie and Diane Alexander gave birth to their daughter who was named Sofia Richie. Unfortunately, Sofia Richie and her brother Miles were to later become children of divorced parents as well as the marriage between Lionel Richie and Diana ended in 2003.

Career Of Lionel Richie, The American Singer

Lionel Richie’s professional singing career began in the year 1968 when he joined different bands such as Fun and Soul, the Commodores, and The Likes before he eventually ventured into a solo career. Interestingly enough, Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson had a lot to do together as they were the joint writers of the charity song “We are the World” which became popular throughout the world then. Records have it that nothing less than 20 million copies of that song were sold. That’s why you should not be alarmed much when you get to know the net worth of this great music star of all times. Furthermore, more than 90 million copies of Lionel Richie’s solo records have been sold throughout the world which places him as among the world’s bestselling artists of all time. Of course, that was also accompanied by several Grammy awards and the Johnny Meyer’s award which any living artist would love to receive.

Lionel Richie, Career With The Commodores

Lionel Richie, the father of Sofia Richie, was adopted as a singer and a saxophonist for the Commodores group in the year 1968. Prior to that time, he had established several R&B groups while he was still a Tuskegee Institute student. The Commodores initially were receiving various recording contracts from the likes of Atlantic and Motown Records before it became established as a renowned soul group. Many of their debut albums such as “Brick House” and “Machine Gun” had content that was highly danceable and funky. Not too long after the Commodores ventured into producing their own albums Sofia Richie’s father, that is Lionel Richie, started composing easy-listening, romantic songs which took the world by surprise. Some of those songs include “Sail On,” “Three Times a Lady,” and “Easy.” While still with the Commodores in the late 1970s, Lionel Richie had started receiving offers to write songs for other artists notably from Kenny Rogers. Lionel Richie was the one that composed the song “Lady” for Rogers and that became a top hit in the year 1980. Riding on that success, Sofia Richie’s father again was called upon by Rogers to produce his next album “Share Your Love” the year that followed. The collaboration between Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers brought them together as best of friends. So, if we fast forward to the year 1981, Lionel Richie, while also with the Commodores, collaborated with Diana Ross for the theme song for the film, “Endless Love.” That song which was used in Endless Love was a duet and it was later issued as a single. To say that everybody loved the song was, to say the least. Apart from it adding a flavor to Endless love, the song itself came out to be number one hit song in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, Japan, and even the US. In fact, Motown, which was its producer, had the song as their highest hit. The attention and success that accompanied the theme song that Lionel Richie sang in Endless Love not only motivated him but also made him realize he could actually go solo and still be relevant. To this effect, he opted out of the Commodores group in 1982 as their lead singer and was in 1983 replaced by Skyler Jett.

Lionel Richie’s Solo Career

As a solo singer, Lionel Richie released his debut album which was titled ‘Lionel Richie’ in the year 1982. This album named after its singer contained 3 singles all of which were hits. These are “Truly,” “You Are,” and “My Love.” These songs were more or less a continuation of his ballad music he was known for while still with the Commodores. In 1983, Lionel Richie released a follow-up album to his debut one and it was titled “Can’t Slow Down.” Can’t Slow Down became a work for which Lionel Richie would later receive two Grammy awards. In fact, the album was awarded the Album of the Year in 1983. Can’t Slow Down became the first work by Lionel Richie that launched him into international stardom. The first single in Can’t Slow Down, which has the title All Night Long, was converted to a music video by Monkee Michael Nesmith. And in 1984 when the 23rd Olympic Games were held in Los Angeles, Lionel Richie was called upon to perform this single. All Night Long is a Carribean-based dance song. So, the second solo album titled Can’t Slow Down not only brought international fame to Lionel Richie but also shot up his net worth. Millions of copies of it were sold all over the world then. Apart from All Night Long, there were also more singles in the album which were equal hits. However, “Hello” seems to be the most successful of them all. “Hello” is a love song adjudged to be sentimental by some but which reveals how much Lionel Richie had deviated from his contemporary R&B music. By and large, the “Hello” and “All Night Long” singer continued to sail on in his music career in the 1980s springing surprises here and there. Perhaps, as a true reflection of things, Lionel Richie’s 8th album was titled “Coming Home.” Indeed it appeared that the “Endless Love” and “All Night Long” singer was coming home because, after the album, his later releases were not as popular as his previous ones. “Coming Home” was released on September 12, 2006, and one of its singles “I Call It Love” was so successful in the US that it ranked 6th on the chart. Prior to this single, it had been ten long years that Lionel Richie had any of his songs highly rated in the US. So, one can say that “Coming Home” sort of brought Richie back home. Lionel Richie equally collaborated one way or another with some of his friends who were also superstars then. Notable among them include Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Apart from partnering with musicians like himself, the “All Night Long” and “Hello” singer equally sang for many films. One of such that won an Oscar award was “Say You, Say Me” which was used in the film “White Nights.”

Using Music To Raise Help For Human Needs

There was a flood disaster that greeted Australia in 2011 and at the same time, a terrible earthquake struck in New Zealand. Lionel Ritchie responded by handpicking a guest artist with whom he toured Australia and New Zealand organizing shows and concerts throughout March and April of that year. In the process, they both recorded the “All Night Long” hit single of Lionel Richie’s “Can’t Slow Down” album. The proceeds from that effort were sent as relief contributions to the two countries where the natural disaster had taken place.

Lionel Richie And Breast Cancer Activism

The “Hello” singer and American superstar did a lot through his profession in helping to sensitize women to breast cancer. As a matter of fact, he is a breast cancer activist. He did more than helping to sensitize; in the year 2003, Lionel Richie helped to raise an amount over $3.1 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. This was Richie’s way of giving back to the community for which he owes much of his achievements. The Research Foundation is seeking to know the best way possible to manage the disease which has refused treatment all this while. Perhaps, the basis for Richie’s gesture was because of his grandmother who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the 80s but by some sort of miracle, lived up to 103 years. So, Lionel Richie sought to tell women through his effort that cancer, particularly breast cancer, should not be viewed as a death sentence.

Lionel Richie’s Net Worth?

Well, from the aforementioned, it’s no doubt that Lionel Richie, the Endless Love singer, is a fantastic millionaire. According to a 2013 estimate, Lionel Richie is worth $200 million. That’s a huge one there! Of course, there are enough reasons to believe his net worth would have outgrown the 2013 estimate now in 2018. He has continued to make several appearances on different occasions which for sure fetched his some large amounts.

Lionel Richie And Acting

Thus far, we have been able to tell the success stories of Lionel Richie as a musician and rightfully so but he’s more than just a singer; he equally acts. From 1977 until the present, Lionel Richie has been featured in not less than 10 movies. He began featuring in movies while he was still with the Commodores group. Some of the films in which he starred are “Scott Joplin” (1977); “Thank God It’s Friday” (1978),”Truth or Dare” which was actually a documentary; “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996); American Idol (2018). “The Preacher’s Wife” was among the big movies that Lionel Richie was featured in. It had other great names like Whitney Houston, Gregory Hines, Denzel Washington, Jenifer Lewis and the more. “The Preacher’s Wife” is actually a remake of “The Bishop’s Wife” which was a screenplay written by Robert Nathan. The movie received several recognitions some of which include its nomination for the Academy Awards as well as the Image Awards. Lionel Richie was a character named Britsloe in “The Preacher’s Wife.” Leaving The Preacher’s Wife now and talking about his Discography, Lionel Richel has about 11 disco performances some of which are “Can’t Slow Down” (1983); “Home Coming,” (2006) and “Tuskegee” (2012).

What About Lionel Richie’s Awards And Honors?

We would definitely not leave that out. Lionel Richie is a recipient of 4 Grammy Awards to date. Similarly, the American superstar has been nominated twice for the Golden Globe Awards but he only won one. The single “We Are The World,” which he co-wrote with Michael Jackson, also won the song of the year award. From his over 7 albums, “Endless Love” was outstanding in that it also won Album of the Year award. Lionel Richie’s song “Say You, Say Me” was also nominated for the Best Original Song and for which it was eventually crowned. That was the song used for the movie “White Nights.” The award it won was twice that year because the Academy Award also gave it the Best Original Song. Maybe the greatest achievement for Lionel Richie would be the academic recognition he later received from top-notch institutions. The Howard College of Music didn’t just ask its student to perform one of his discographies but also honored him with various academic awards. Today, one would not be wrong to refer to him as Dr. Lionel Richie because he is a holder of an honorary Doctorate Degree in Music. And he was supposed to be a just a simple college dropout.

Final Remarks

Dr. Lionel Richie, the Britsloe in “The Preacher’s Wife”, and producer of Coming Home is indeed, a man of many parts. His name in the music and acting industry has been engraved on a hard rock, there to stay for many generations. It’s no coincidence that he was part of the cast in The Preacher’s Wife having originally thought he would be a preacher himself. You don’t need to listen twice to any of his hit singles to submit that he deserves each of the four Grammies if not more. At age 68, Lionel Richie is already a grandfather and obviously may not have as much vigor as he had in the 1980s even though he’s not completely off the stage yet. Lionel Richie, according to the title of one of his albums, may indeed be Coming Home.