Lionel Richie’s Music Career Through the Decades

Lionel Richie

A former Wall Street executive, Geoffrey “Geoff” J. Block now lives in South Carolina, where he has owned and operated RLB Squared since 2013. Outside of work, Geoff Block enjoys listening to the music of several artists such as Lionel Richie.

Lionel Richie celebrated his 70th birthday on June 20, 2019. In honor of the popular singer-songwriter, here’s a look at Richie’s career over the decades since the Alabama-born hitmaker came into the public eye in the 1970s.

In 1971, Richie’s band, the Commodores, which he joined while a college student at the Tuskegee Institute, opened for the Jackson 5. The group went on to achieve chart-topping success later in the decade with the Richie-penned ballads, Three Times a Lady and Still.

Richie’s profile increases as he collaborated with artists like Diana Ross and Kenny Rogers. His growing popularity led to his 1981 split with the Commodores. He released his first solo album in 1982. His stardom rose over the next several years, and by 1987 he ranked among the decade’s most commercially successful male solo artists. During this time, he recorded an astounding 13 consecutive top 10 hits, including All Night Long (All Night), Hello, and Say You, Say Me.

In the early 1990s, Richie’s production as an artist slowed down and he did not record another album until 1996. However, his considerable achievements as a songwriter resulted in his earning induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.

Richie releases two albums that performed well in Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom. His next two releases, 2006’s Coming Home and 2009’s Just Go, featured collaborations with a number of modern artists. Following the success of the 2012’s more traditional, country-inspired Tuskegee, Richie returned on the road, embarking on what would become a two-year-long world tour. In 2018, he joined the television program American Idol as a judge.