Looking Back at Lionel Richie’s Greatest Songs After Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nomination
American Idol judge Lionel Richie is one of 17 artists who were just announced as nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He’ll be up against the likes of Dolly Parton and Eminem for the limited induction spots. Fans can vote for their choices until April 29.
Richie has had an incredible career in the music industry spanning over 50 years. In that time, he’s released some seriously iconic hits that people are still enjoying to this day. Let’s take a look at seven great examples of Richie’s best songs.
1. ‘Three Times a Lady’
Richie started his music career as a member of a funk band called the Commodores. They had several hits in the 1970s, including “Brick House” and “Easy.” But the 1978 release “Three Times a Lady” was the band’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
The ballad was written by Richie, who also sang lead vocals. He wrote it imagining it being sung by Frank Sinatra, but producer James Carmichael decided it would be great on the Commodores’ newest album Natural High.
2. ‘Endless Love’
Richie wrote this iconic duet and collaborated with Diana Ross to release the song in 1981. It appeared on the soundtrack for the film Endless Love. Richie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Billboard named it the greatest duet of all time, and it’s been covered by a number of other artists, including Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey.
Before Adele’s hit of the same name, Richie released this famous track as a single in 1984. It appeared on his second solo album Can’t Slow Down. The song reached No. 1 on three Billboard charts, including the pop chart and the R&B chart.
Richie admitted later that he thought the song was “corny” when he was first working on it, adding, “Then by the time I finished the verse, I fell in love with the song again.”
4. ‘All Night Long (All Night)’
This song also appeared on Richie’s second album Can’t Slow Down. The track got people up and dancing, with a colorful, joyous music video to go along with it. “All Night Long” also reached No. 1 on three Billboard charts. Richie also performed the song at the closing ceremonies for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
5. ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’
This track appeared on Richie’s third album, also titled Dancing on the Ceiling, released in 1986. The song’s famous music video featured Richie literally dancing on the ceiling of a party and walking up and down the walls. “Dancing on the Ceiling” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
6. ‘Say You, Say Me’
Richie wrote this ballad for the 1985 movie White Nights. It wasn’t on the film’s soundtrack, but was instead included on Richie’s 1986 album Dancing on the Ceiling. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
7. ‘We Are the World’
This iconic 1985 charity single was co-written by Richie with Michael Jackson. The song, performed by the supergroup USA for Africa, sold over 20 million copies, raising money for famine relief in Africa. Artists featured on the track included Stevie Wonder, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, and Bruce Springsteen. The song won four Grammys.