Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, actor and record producer. Richie's style of ballads with the Commodores and in his solo career launched him as one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s.
Beginning in 1968, Richie was a member of the funk and soul band the Commodores. The Commodores became established as a popular soul group; their first several albums had a danceable, funky sound, as in such tracks as "Machine Gun" and "Brick House." Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads such as "Easy", "Three Times a Lady", "Still", and the breakup ballad "Sail On". Richie launched a solo career in 1982 and his 1982 debut solo album, Lionel Richie, contained three hit singles: the Grammy winning U.S. number-one song "Truly", and the top five hits "You Are" and "My Love". The album hit No. 3 on the music charts and sold over 4 million copies. His 1983 follow-up album, Can't Slow Down, sold over twice as many copies and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, propelling him into the first rank of international superstars.
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