Lionel Richie is a popular singer, songwriter, and producer who is most admired for his smooth and soulful love ballads of the 1970s and ’80s. In 1967, after graduating Joliet East High School in Illinois, he studied economics and accounting at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. While there, he joined a campus band, the Mystics, as a saxophonist, composer, and, occasionally, singer. With some personnel changes in 1968, the Mystics became the funk and rhythm-and-blues group the Commodores, with Richie as a lead vocalist. The Commodores reached the mainstream when Motown asked then to open up for the pop-music sensation the Jackson 5. In 1978, the Commodores had their first Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit with ‘Three Times a Lady’. Richie began to collaborate with other artists like country musician Kenny Rogers, for whom he wrote and produced ‘Lady’ in 1980, and in 1981, he wrote ‘Endless Love’ and sang a duet with pop-soul singer Diana Ross. These musical excursions accelerated Richie’s rapid rise in popularity and ultimately precipitated his split from the Commodores.
Lionel Richie wrote the hit song ‘Hello’ and recorded it for his second solo album Can’t Slow Down in 1983. The phrase, “Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”, was something that Lionel Richie said to his record producer James Anthony Carmichael when he came by to visit Richie while he was playing piano, to which Carmichael replied, “Finish that song.” When Lionel Richie was young, he watched beautiful women walk past him, but he was too shy to talk to any of them, and he wondered if any of them were looking for him. Richie initially felt that the song was corny, but when he finished the verse, he fell in love with it. Richie had this song written for his first solo album, but he left it off, however his wife Brenda loved it, and insisted he include it on his second album.
The song is one of Lionel Richie’s…
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