lionel-richie-all-the-hitsIt’s not long until Lionel Richie will perform at Eirias Park to kick off his series of open air concerts in the UK, as part of much-vaunted “All the Hits” tour. Beat the crowds by staying at the nearby Cae Mor Seafront Hotel within nearby Llandudno in North Wales for this musical treat.

Rooms are certainly filling up though we still have some spaces left for those who wish to beat the hassle and stress of travelling back home immediately after the performance. Why not make a weekend of the experience in a charming Llandudno seafront hotel? To mark almost a month to go until the performance, we thought we’d get in the spirit by highlighting the multitalented Lionel Richies’ career.

Born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama and of black and Cherokee ancestry, Lionel was accepted into the prestigious Tuskegee Institute on a tennis scholarship but dropped out as in his second year. While he put serious consideration into studying to become a priest, he ultimately decided to pursue music and formed a succession of R&B groups in the mid 1960s, most notably becoming a singer and saxophonist with the Commodores in 1968 – part of the celebrated Motown Records roster as support to the Jackson 5. Richies’ work as songwriter ranged from danceable tracks such as “Brick House” and “Machine Gun” to romantic ballads such as “Easy” , “Three Times a Lady” and “Sail On”

In the late 1970s he composed the number 1 hit “Lady” for Kenny Rogers, producing his album Share Your Love the following year. In 1981 Richie sang the theme song for the film Endless Love, which was a duet with no less than Diana Ross. The song smashed international music charts, reaching #1 in Canada, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Japan – as well as domestically reaching number one and selling 2 million copies. Encouraged by this gigantic success, Richie left the Commodores in 1982 and broke out on his own on a full-time basis.

Richie, as a soloist, was a major success. He went from strength to strength and truly took the US by storm with singles like “Truly” (which launched his career), “You Are” , “My Love” launching his first self-titled album as a success at 4 million copies sold. His 1983 follow-up album sold twice as many copies at 8 million and won two Grammies – Album of the Year among them. The song “All Night Long” was immensely popular, Richie himself performing it at the closing ceremony of the 1984 Olympic Games in LA. In 1984, Richie provided several more top ten hits including “Hello” , “Stuck on You” , “Running with the Night” and “Penny Lover”. In 1985, Richie wrote and performed “Say You, Say Me” for the film White Nights. The song won an Oscar for his efforts and reached #1 on the U.S. charts. He also collaborated with long-term friend Michael Jackson on the charity single “We Are the World” by USA for Africa, another feather in his cap at #1. In 1986, he released the album Dancing on the Ceiling, which produced another slew of number 1 hits.

Lionel then decided to slow down, admitting that he was exhausted from his work schedule. He took time away from his career to look after his father back home in Alabama, returning with Back To Front in 1992, following up with 1996’s Louder than Words, an album beloved by all lovers of well-crafted soul music, for it’s refusal to jump onto modern R&B bandwagons. He has also achieved success within Europe with the albums “Time” and “Renaissance” — as well as “Coming Home”, which achieved #6 in the US album charts in 2006. In 2012, Richie released the album Tuskegee – a work which featured 13 of his songs performed as duets with country stars which catapulted him to top of the US’ Billboard charts, achieving platinum status 6 weeks after release – proving that despite a far more relaxed recording and performance, Lionel Richie hadn’t lost his relevance to the music industry.

On June 18th 2015, Lionel performed before 120,000 people at the Glastonbury Festival – cited as “triumphant” by the BBC – and the last UK performance Lionel Richie has done until now. We feel that the man is truly iconic – his success not based simply on his talent as a singer-songwriter, or his background in Motown. Lionel Richie’s ability to enrapture audiences has led to his performances always in high demand, and we’re very excited for Lionel Richie at Eirias Park ourselves, and urge readers to not risk disappointment by leaving it too late to book a room  to get the most out of it.

ANSPressSocietyNews | (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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