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Jazzing up your Lionel Richie facts – Idols SA

20 September 2023
The Idols SA contestants have taken us back to Motown! Here’s what you need to know about the best-selling global icon.
Idols SA - Lionel Richie

Saturday’s episode of Idols SA threw us in a time capsule and took us back to the golden era of the blues. Two words: Lionel Richie! The Top 8 were tasked with putting their spin to the four-time Grammy winner’s timeless catalogue. As expected, the hopefuls ate and left no crumbs. And while they await to hear about their fate at this coming Saturday’s live show, we have plenty of time to jump back in time.

Dive into Richie’s world with these fun facts:

Richie, the legendary American singer, songwriter, and music producer, has an extraordinary career filled with intriguing highlights. Beyond his chart-topping hits and soulful ballads, let's explore five captivating facts that shed light on the versatile artist known and loved by many.


  • The birth of a legend with the Commodores:

Before Richie's solo stardom, he co-founded and led the funk and soul band, the Commodores. Their electrifying tracks, including ‘Brick House’ and ‘Easy’ showcased his talents. These early successes paved the way for his solo journey, where he would craft enduring classics.

  •  A song writing maestro

Richie isn't just a charismatic singer; he's also a gifted songwriter. His co-authorship of the iconic anthem ‘We Are the World’ alongside Michael Jackson is an unforgettable accomplishment. The song united celebrated artists to raise funds for noble causes, attesting to Lionel's song writing genius that continues to resonate worldwide.

  • ‘Hello' becomes a 21st century sensation

Richie's timeless hit ‘Hello’ took on a new life in the digital age thanks to the ‘Hello’ meme. Internet users creatively repurposed the song's music video, adding a playful twist to its heartfelt lyrics and memorable sculpted bust scene. The meme reintroduced Richie's  music to younger generations, turning it into a pop culture sensation.

 An artistic legacy for the ages

Richie's music transcends generations and genres, blending R&B, pop, soul, and country seamlessly. Collaborations like ‘Lady’ with country star Kenny Rogers attest to his genre-defying versatility, earning him fans from diverse backgrounds.

  •  A treasury of awards and honours

Richie's astounding contributions to music have garnered him a collection of prestigious awards, including multiple Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and a Kennedy Center Honor. These accolades reflect not just his immense talent but also his enduring impact on the music industry.

In summary, Richie's career is a remarkable testament to his exceptional talent and versatility. From his roots with the Commodores to his solo chart-toppers and celebrated song writing, he continues to enchant audiences worldwide. Whether you're dancing to ‘All Night Long’ or getting lost in ‘Endless Love’, Richie's music will forever occupy a cherished place in our hearts.

Idols SA airs every Saturday at 18:00 on Mzansi Magic (DStv Channel 161), thereafter on Mzansi Wethu (DStv channel 163) at 19:30.

What will be the theme thus coming Saturday? You must tune in to find out! 

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