Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. is a five-time Grammy Award winner, a two-time Academy of Country Music Awards, and a three-time Golden Globe Awards winner as well as an inductee into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has also been honored by the Recording Academy with 19 Grammy nominations, including one for Album of the Year, seven Emmy nominations, eight AMAs, 10 People’s Choice Awards, six ACMs, and 13 American Music Awards.
In 2006 he was named the CMA’s Artist of the Decade (1980–89) and won Single of the Year for “Three Times a Lady.” It earned him a place in Guinness World Records as the top-selling solo artist.
Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, on June 20, 1949, to African-American parents, Nina and John Richie (he also has two sisters who are his half-sisters). His father was a military doctor. He became interested in music at an early age, joining the church choir at six years old. The following year he began studying classical piano; this prompted him to join the high school choir.
It also drove his desire for popularity. Having played drums since third grade (inspired by Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”), after attracting attention with his vocal talents, he joined the school band using play backing tracks of popular songs with which he would perform renditions of classics like Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” He also served in his first play with the role of Crown in the Prince of Egypt.
His early influences included James Brown, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis, Brooks & Dunn and Boys II Men, where he contributed to their albums. In 1983 he released a song co-written with Michael Jackson called “We Are the World”, which sold over 20 million copies worldwide. It was written for charity to help end hunger in Africa through the USA for Africa, founded by Richie, Jackson, singer/composer Harry Belafonte and former Apple Records head (now turned film director) Sir Allen Klein.
Each artist donated a recording of the song to be sold as a fundraiser. The song featured an all-star roster of singers, including Richie, who won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. It was co-written by Richie’s childhood friend and then, unknown Lionel Ritchie.
Dancing on the Ceiling
In 1986 he moved to Warner Bros, where he began working on his second album “Dancing on the Ceiling,” released in September 1986. The single “Say You, Say Me,” written for the film White Nights, went to no 1 for six weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart becoming his only number 1 hit in the USA, reaching no eight on the UK singles chart.
But it wasn’t until 1987, after being given some advice by Barbra Streisand, that he reworked some songs that became his first album under the new label “Lionel Richie,” to which he was signed for a $30 million contract. This album included the hit singles “You Are,” “My Love,” and “Dancing on the Ceiling.”
In 1988 he won four American Music Awards plus a People’s Choice Award with his duet with Diana Ross, “Endless Love.” The same year, however, he had more international success with his single release of “Ballerina Girl,” which reached no 16 in the UK singles chart; it also became popular in Australia (no 14), France (no 10), and the USA (no 30). His second album is under Warner Bros. Records were titled simply Lionel Richie while his third album Under the streetlight was released in 1990.
While he continued to record in the 1990s, including a 2001 album of soul covers called “Renaissance,” his commercial profile declined. He also co-wrote the 2001 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia song “I Don’t Wanna Fight” with Diana Ross. In 2004 he was hand-picked by actor Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith to play a genie in the couple’s box office hit “Shark Tale”. He returned to public attention with an appearance on Dancing with The Stars in 2007 resulted in three further albums being issued: “Just Go,” “Coming Home” (a cover album), and “Tuskegee.”
How much is Lionel Richie worth?
With an estimated net worth of $200 million, that’s a good start. However, this figure was calculated in October 2010 when Richie appeared on the US series Dancing with The Stars, where he wowed audiences with his moves. This thrust him back into the limelight and resulted in new record deals, so he has inevitably earned much more than this since.
He’s sold 100 million albums worldwide.
He’s sold 100 million albums globally, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. To date, Lionel has had five no-one singles in the USA plus 21 other top 10 hits. Four out of his six solo albums reached UK’s top 10, including his debut “Lionel Richie” (1983), which debuted at No four and went platinum in the UK.
Lionel Richie’s Net worth, Total Income/Salary
Richie’s total income is USD 60 Million (2012), including but not limited to: Sony Music Entertainment, RCA Records Label Nashville VP of Promotion and Artist Development, SSE Live-Chairman of Global Touring, Wendish Agency Talent Booking Agent, Wendish Management Talent Booking Manager & Personal Appearances Booker.
In 2012 he was ranked as number one on Billboard Social Media’s ‘Money Makers’ list. He has a Las Vegas residency show which commenced in December 2014 called Lionel Richie One World Theatre at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The show went on tour for its final performance in January 2015 due to Richie suffering from fatigue.