Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. (born June 20, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. His recordings with the Commodores and in his solo career made him one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s.
Beginning in 1968, Richie was a member of the funk and soul band the Commodores. The Commodores became established as a popular soul group; their first several albums had a danceable, funky sound, as in such tracks as “Machine Gun” and “Brick House”. Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads such as “Easy”, “Three Times a Lady”, “Still”, and the breakup ballad “Sail On”. Richie launched a solo career in 1982 and his 1982 debut solo album, Lionel Richie, contained three hit singles: the U.S. number-one song “Truly”, and the top five hits “You Are” and “My Love”. The album hit No. 3 on the music charts and sold over four million copies. His 1983 follow-up album, Can’t Slow Down, sold over twice as many copies, propelling him into the first rank of international superstars. He also co-wrote the 1985 charity single “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson, which sold over 20 million copies.
Over the course of his career, Richie has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. He won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Can’t Slow Down, and his other Grammy Awards include Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) in 1985 and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Truly” in 1983. Richie has also been nominated for two Golden Globe awards and won one. In 1982 he was nominated for Best Original Song for the film Endless Love. In 1986 he won the Golden Globe award for Best Original Song for “Say You, Say Me”, featured in the film White Nights. The song also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2016, Richie received the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award. He has served with Luke Bryan and Katy Perry as a judge for the singing competition American Idol since its move to ABC from the Fox network. Here are all of Lionel Richie’s songs ranked.
Don’t miss out on the music of Lionel Richie below! Click to enjoy his original songs that are definitely modern classics!
15. Can’t Slow Down (Can’t Slow Down, 1983)
“Do you want to dance? Do you want to groove? Do you want to remember the greatest decade of the 20th century. Buy this album. Feel the groove wash over you, and the smooth and silky vocals of our host, Lionel Richie. The former member of the Commodores was never better – his music almost a salve for a generation lost in the realization that the dream of the 60’s was dead, and greed was good.”
14. The Only One (Can’t Slow Down, 1983)
“The captivating chorus is handled in a subtle fashion by Richie and the rhythm arrangement by Richie and Foster is the glue that holds it all together. The almost drug-induced (and I mean this as the highest form of praise) high point of the whole song is the bridge which begins like a 3rd verse.”
13. Love Will Find a Way (Can’t Slow Down, 1983)
“This is classic Lionel Richie. I remember listening to this album and driving around the Lake Hennepin, Minnesota during the summer. This is a great upbeat track that just makes a smile cross your face when you listen.”
12. Penny Lover (Can’t Slow Down, 1983)
“This is one of those “guilty pleasure” songs. It is so simple but brings up all the emotions of falling in love. Nice play on words, too, for the title. “Penny Lover, walk on by” sounds a whole lot better instead of “Penny Loafer, walk on by.”
See more: Lionel Richie Albums Ranked
11. My Love (Lionel Richie, 1983)
“My favorite song on the album was the duet version of ‘My Love” with Kenny (never heard the song before). After loving the duet version, I wanted to hear the original, and love it even more! I feel more emotion & heart in the original (and love the older/cheesy sounds of the 70’s-80’s!”
10. Dancing On the Ceiling (Dancing On the Ceiling, 1986)
“Loved dancing on the ceiling! it’s quite the 80s classic because it’ll never get old & everyone could use a little 80s in their life sometimes”
9. Endless Love (Endless Love: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 1981)
“I don’t know if Lionel Richie counted on this song spanning the ages and becoming a classic love song that would be played at weddings and dedications when it was written and performed with Diana Ross for the original movie Endless Love, but that’s where this song has landed and helped him to branch out from The Commodores into his successful solo career.”
8. Love Will Conquer All (Dancing on the Ceiling, 1986)
“This is one of my favorite Lionel Ritchie tunes. I would recommend to anyone who appreciates Ritchie tunes. The Album version is just about 1:30 minutes longer than the single version”
7. Running With the Night (Can’t Slow Down, 1983)
“Lionel always made good music some of his music will make you cry. This song is good. You will like it as much as I do. Give it a try.”
6. Say You, Say Me (Dancing on the Ceiling, 1986)
“One of the best songs from one of the great singers of the seventies and eighties. Was used for my wedding. Very clear sound, better than using from a thirty year old cassette tape.”
See more: The Commodores Albums Ranked
5. Hello (Can’t Slow Down, 1983)
“I love this song, it is so nice to listen to, when you want to relax, and just enjoy music, listen to this. Just try to ignore the creepy clip where he’s clearly stalking a blind girl he doesn’t even know.
4. Truly (Lionel Richie, 1982)
“If there ever was a love song this is it, it is as powerful today as the day I first heard it. It speaks of the beauty of someone loving and being loved.”
3. Stuck On You (Can’t Slow Down, 1983)
“Stuck On You” along with his duet with with Diana Ross, “Endless Love”, are probably the songs that define Lionel Richie for me.”
2. You Are (Lionel Richie, 1982)
“Lionel Richie evolved from the R&B band the Commodores. He sings it in that style. It is one of the best songs you will need for your collection if you follow R&B style Popular music.”
1. All Night Long (All Night) (Can’t Slow Down, 1983)
“Who can’t dance when it comes to Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long?” Great vocals, wonderful music and it can help you get your mood up when it’s a bit down. Besides, dancing is good for your physical and mental health so see this as an aid to keeping yourself in great shape.”