Lionel Richie: “All Night Long” to 70

American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer, Lionel Brockman Richie who was born on June 20, 1949 is 70 years old and the world is agog. His early life clearly indicated the direction he would go and its attendant success

 He grew and accepted a tennis scholarship to attend Tuskegee Institute, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.

He shelved the urge to become a priest in the Episcopal Church and decided to continue his musical career as a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honor fraternity for band members and an active life member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

From there, his musical career took off with many albums and awards including GRAMMY to his credit.

Over the course of his musical career, Richie has sold over 90 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best selling artists of all time.

He  won four Grammy Awards including Song of the Year in 1985 for “We Are the World” which he co-wrote with Michael Jackson, Album of the Year in 1984 for Can’t Slow Down, Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) in 1984 and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Truly” in 1982.

 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 was nominated for and won the Golden Globe award for Best Original Song for “Say you, Say Me.”

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Richie’s 1982 debut solo album “Lionel Richie”, contained three hit singles: the U.S. number-one song “Truly”  which continued the style of his ballads with the Commodores and launched his career as one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s, and the top five hits “You Are” and “My Love”

“All Night Long” a Caribbean-flavored dance number that was promoted by a colorful music video produced by Monkee Michael Nesmith was the popular choice in 1984 when , Richie performed “All Night Long” at the closing ceremony of the XX111 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Earlier on October 18, 1975, Richie married his college sweetheart, Brenda Harvey. In 1983 the couple informally adopted Nicole Camille Escovedo, the two-year-old daughter of one of the members of Lionel’s band, and niece of drummer Sheila E. They raised her as their daughter, Nicole Richie and adopted her legally when she was nine years old.

In 1986, while still married to Harvey, Richie began a relationship with Diane Alexander. He would later separate from Harvey, who in 1988 allegedly discovered Richie and Alexander together in a Beverly Hills hotel room by saying she was “room service.” In June 1988, Harvey was arrested and charged with corporal injury to a spouse, resisting arrest, trespassing, vandalism, battery, and disturbing the peace after she found Richie at Alexander’s Beverly Hills apartment.

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 Richie and Harvey divorced on August 9, 1993 after nearly 18 years of marriage.

 The pop star married Diane Alexander on December 21, 1995 and they have a son, Miles Brockman who was born on May 27, 1994) and a daughter, Sofia Richie who was born on August 24, 1998). The marriage ended in 2003.

A research into Lionel Richie’s genealogy revealed that his maternal great-grandfather was the national leader of an early African-American fraternal organization,  Notably, J. Louis Brown who was

principal organizer and Supreme Grand, Archon of the Knights of Wise Men, a fraternal organization for black men in the post civil war period formed in Nashville in in 1879.

Happy Birthday to Lionel Richie at 70 as he shines on with ever green……

All Night Long

“Well, my friends, the time has come
Raise the roof and have some fun
Throw away the work to be done
Let the music play on
Everybody sing, everybody dance
Lose yourself in wild romance, we going to
Parti’, karamu’, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along
We’re going to parti’, karamu’, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), ooh yeah (all night)
People dancing all in the street
See the rhythm all in their feet
Life is good, wild and sweet
Let the music play on
Feel it in your heart and feel it in your soul
Let the music take control, we going to
Parti’, liming, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing my song
All night long (all night) oh (all night)
All night long (all night) yeah (all night)
All night long (all night) yeah (all night)
All night long (all night) (all night)
Yeah, once you get started you can’t sit down
Come join the fun, it’s a merry-go-round
Everyone’s dancing their troubles away
Come join our party, see how we play
Tom bo li de say de moi ya, yeah, jambo jumbo
Way to parti’ o we goin’ oh, jambali
Tom bo li de say de moi ya, yeah, jumbo jumbo
Oh, oh, oh, oh, yes
We’re gonna have a party, yeah, ugh
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), yeah (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night)
Everyone you meet, they’re jamming in the street, all night long (all night)
Yeah, I said, everyone you meet, they’re jamming in the street (all night)
All night long (all night)
Feel good, feel good (all nigh”

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