As an original member of the legendary group, The Commodores, Lionel Richie helped to craft the “Motown sound” and as a solo artist, the four-time Grammy Award winner gave us life-changing classics like “We Are The World,” karaoke favorites like “All Night Long,” and unforgettable love songs like “Three Times A Lady,” “Hello,” “Truly” and “Zoom.”
In fact, Richie was so good at love songs back in the day, that it reflected in his playboy lifestyle singing and performing on the road.
“I don’t care whether you’re 19 and sexually possessed – you can’t [have more than three girls a day like me] and put on high-heeled boots and run across the stage every night. That’s why drugs became so inviting: because you get a hit of this, and it gives you the stamina. But how long does it last? And then you’re in rehab…or you’re falling down on stage and passing out halfway through the show.”
According to Lionel, it was the fear of having illegitimate children that eventually caused him and his bandmates to keep it in their pants.
“It wasn’t the sex and it wasn’t the drugs. It was…babies,” he tells the magazine. “The first time you get that phone call when someone says… ‘hey, guess what?’ That’s called fear, shock and awe. That’s when I realized the gun was loaded, you know what I’m saying? That puts the fear into the heart of any 19- or 20-year-old.”
Nowadays, Lionel says he’s just happy to hear about all the sex that he’s inspired others to have.
“Y’know something? I get more compliments from men than women. Guys use one word: thanks,” he laughs. [They tell me], ‘The greatest times of my life, Lionel, you were right there, baby.’…It’s the simplicity of the songs, I think, that works.”
These days, the 68-year-old music veteran is still touring and mesmerizing crowds, and taking time to reflect on what’s helped to keep him in the game for so long.
“There’s a word I try to practice in my life called balance and what I use as my equilibrium is my kids,” Richie said in an upcoming episode of Oprah’s Master Class (airs June 22). “They treat me like Dad; they don’t treat me like Lionel Richie.”
Richie’s three children, the most well-known being Nicole Richie, helped to anchor the artist…