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Interview:
Lionel Richie Feeling The Love Again
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Lionel Richie feels like dancing on the ceiling. And who can blame him?

After a middling decade or so, the ’80s hitmaker fi nds things heating up again. His new album, “Coming Home,” debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart. And he has a multi-format hit in the first single, “I Call It Love,” whose video features his daughter, “The Simple Life” costar Nicole Richie.

“Is it wonderful or what?” gushes Richie, 57, who came to fame at Motown, first with the Commodores and then going solo in the early ’80s with a series of chart-topping hits such as “Truly,” “All Night Long (All Night),” “Hello” and “Dancing on the Ceiling.”

“Every time I get something like this (success) in this business, it’s very special. When you get something like this again, that’s pretty friggin’ special. I’m laughing to myself every time I think about it.”

Richie has high hopes that there are more hits to come from “Coming Home.” He certainly made the album with that in mind, enlisting hot producers such as Jermaine Dupri, Raphael Saadiq, Dallas Austin and Sean Garrett, among others.

“I was trying to figure out what does Lionel Richie sound like in 2006,” Richie explains.

But he was surprised by their answer.

“They said, ‘Lionel Richie in 1986 — that’s what we’re bringing back,’ ” he says. “It’s the old sound in the new sounds. All they said was, ‘We never had an opportunity to put you on a record with the beats (they use now).’ That’s all it is. It was let Lionel Richie do his Lionel Richie thing, and then let the guys bring their fl avor to me, and I got inspired on top of that.

“From then on, it was magical. Once we got that concept down, look out and duck — we were off to the races, man.”



Lionel Richie at 8 p.m. Friday (October 27th) at the Music Hall Center, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $65-$75. Call (313) 887-8501 or visit



Web Site: www.musichall.org

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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