Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. better known as Lionel Richie is a celebrated American musician, songwriter, record producer and actor who is perhaps, the only living singer whose fame has successfully transcended time. Known for his heart-stirring melodies and soulful voice, Richie has been the favorite of all those who have ever been in love, thanks to his famous love ballads.
In a career which started in 1968 with funk and soul band ‘Commodores’ and has spanned almost half a century, he has sold over 100 million copies of his music around the world. He is one of the greatest artists that the world has ever seen. Now let’s have a close look on Lionel Richie’s net worth in 2019.
Lionel Richie hails from Tuskegee, Alabama where he was born to Alberta R. and Lionel Brockman Richie Sr. Growing up, he was an exceptional tennis player, a talent which even brought him a scholarship to Tuskegee Institute which he attended for almost a year after completing his school education from the East Campus of Joliet Township High School.
After dropping out from college, Lionel Richie dabbled with the idea of becoming a priest for some time before giving it up for a career in music, a choice that not only brought him fame but gave to the world one of its greatest singers!
Lionel Richie has been married and divorced twice. His first marriage was to his college sweetheart Brenda Harvey in 1983 during which he adopted the daughter of his fellow bandmate. The girl was Nicole Camille Escovedo who the couple raised as their own child and eventually adopted legally. In 1993, Richie divorced his first wife. Two years later in 1995, he married Diane Alexander with whom he went on to have two children, a son named Miles Brockman and a daughter named Sofia Richie, before divorcing her in 2003. He is also the proud grandfather of Nicole’s two kids.
Lionel Richie began his music career as the lead singer and saxophonist of ‘Commodores’, a popular funk soul band that started out with upbeat dance numbers, like ‘Machine Gun’ and ‘Brick House’ before evolving into a more soulful and profoundly romantic band with songs such as ‘Easy’, ‘Three Times a Lady’ and ‘Sail On’. The shift effectively increased the band’s popularity.
In 1981, the unprecedented international success of ‘Endless Love,’ a song Lionel Richie wrote for a movie of the same name, encouraged him to embark on a solo journey. He quit ‘Commodores’ in 1982.
Wasting no time, Lionel Richie released his eponymous debut solo album in the same year, which included top 5 hits, like ‘Truly,’ ‘You Are’ and ‘My Love.’ The album, on the whole, sold about 4 million copies. He followed it up with an even more successful album ‘Can’t Slow Down’ in 1983, which bagged 2 Grammy Awards and became the Album of the Year, thereby catapulting him to international stardom.
In 1984, Lionel Richie spawned a series of top 10 songs, like ‘Hello,’ ‘Stuck on You,’ ‘Running with the Night’ and ‘Penny Lover.’
1985 saw the release of ‘We Are the World’, a song for charity sung with Michael Jackson, which broke all sale records with over 20 million sold copies worldwide. He also, won an Academy Award that year for a single called ‘Say You, Say Me,’ which he wrote and sang for a film titled ‘White Nights.’ He released another well-received album called ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ in 1986, after which he took a hiatus from music.
In the ensuing ten years that constituted his hiatus, the music scene changed a lot incorporating new and experimental genres of music.
He made his comeback in 1996 with ‘Louder Than Words’ his 4th studio album, which stayed true to his original soulful style. Maybe due to change in the audience’s musical sensibilities, the album failed to leave a mark, and Lionel Richie did not have any success until the release of his 2006 album ‘Coming Home,’ which became his 1st charting album in almost a decade. Later, his 2012 album ‘Tuskegee,’ which featured duets of several of his hit songs with country singers, like Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Shania Twain and Billy Currington among others, brought him to the top of the Billboard 200 after 25 long years!
Awards & Achievements
Apart from being the proud winner of 4 Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe, Lionel Richie received the 2008 George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Achievement Award at UCLA’s annual Spring Sing. In 2016, he was conferred with the highest honor of the Songwriters Hall of Fame called the Johnny Mercer Award.
Net Worth of Lionel Richie
The total estimated net worth of Lionel Richie is a whopping $200 million, a fortune that he has amassed through his successful music career, and lucrative endorsement deals with popular brands, like Lion Nathan.
Lionel Richie is one of the few artists whose music has successfully stood the test of time, thereby establishing him as one of the greatest singers of all time.