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A guy once came up to Lionel Richie at an Alabama truck stop and said, "'I met a woman because of your 'Three Times a Lady' song, and I'm stuck on her now." Yep, we all know what that guy's talking about - Lionel Richie's ballads have become the soundtrack for looooooove. Whether you're hoping for it, falling in it, or making it, hello: it's Lionel you're looking for.
Here's the fascinating thing about Lionel - he started making music at a time and place that was filled with contradictions. He grew up in the '50s in Tuskegee, Alabama. It was a moment where the civil rights movement, the Ku Klux Klan and the Bible belt were all part of the conversation. And the same went for music, too. Lionel grew up hearing a crazy fusion of genres: gospel mixed with country, mixed with his grandmother's classical music. And you can hear it in his songs -- collisions of different genres, the dance of different sounds.
Lionel started up The Commodores band right out of university. The group scored a few hits, opened for the Jackson 5, and then in the '80s, Lionel quickly busted out on his own, teaming up with other artists like Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, and Michael Jackson.
For most of that decade, his ballads firmly occupied a place on the charts, selling millions of copies. As times changed, Lionel rolled with it - he's experimented with different sounds, and this year's no different.
On his new album, 'Tuskegee,' Lionel teams up with country legends from Willie Nelson to Shania Twain, for an album that celebrates the concept of home.