Sofia and Nicole Richie both recently flooded their Instagrams with photos and videos of their father Lionel Richie on Saturday to celebrate his 71st birthday.
Sofia, 21, joined her father for a picnic at his enormous Beverly Hills estate, while Nicole, 38, shared some joyous throwback photos of her dad in his prime.
Lionel’s son Miles Richie, 26, and his son-in-law Joel Madden, 41, also shared their tributes to their ‘mentor’ on social media.
Sofia joined her father in person to enjoy a picnic on his massive lawn.
The model shared photos of Lionel relaxing in the shade of a large umbrella as he dined on an old-fashioned picnic basket with slots for real plates and glasses Later, the Easy singer goofed off and tried out different positions while being photographed holding the lawn umbrella.
Sofia contributed to the picnic by baking a vanilla and red velvet cake with chocolate frosting for the special occasion and shared a mouth-watering photo of it to her Instagram Stories.
Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. (born June 20, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor. His recordings with the Commodores and in his solo career made him one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s.
Beginning in 1968, Richie was a member of the funk and soul band the Commodores. The Commodores became established as a popular soul group; their first several albums had a danceable, funky sound, as in such tracks as “Machine Gun” and “Brick House”. Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads such as “Easy”, “Three Times a Lady”, “Still”, and the breakup ballad “Sail On”. Richie launched a solo career in 1982 and his 1982 debut solo album, Lionel Richie, contained three hit singles: the US number-one song “Truly”, and the top five hits “You Are” and “My Love”. The album hit No. 3 on the music charts and sold over four million copies.
His 1983 follow-up album, Can’t Slow Down, sold over twice as many copies, propelling him into the first rank of international superstars. He also co-wrote the 1985 charity single “We Are the World” with Michael Jackson, which sold over 20 million copies.
Over the course of his career, Richie has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. He won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Can’t Slow Down, and his other Grammy Awards include Producer of the Year (Non-Classical) in 1985 and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Truly” in 1983. Richie has also been nominated for two Golden Globe awards and won one.
In 1982 he was nominated for Best Original Song for the film Endless Love. In 1986 he won the Golden Globe award for Best Original Song for “Say You, Say Me”, featured in the film White Nights. The song also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Richie was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama, the son of Lionel Brockman Richie Sr. and Alberta R. Foster. He grew up on the campus of Tuskegee Institute.
He graduated from Joliet Township High School, East Campus, in Joliet, Illinois. A star tennis player in Joliet, he accepted a tennis scholarship to attend Tuskegee Institute, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics.
As a student in Tuskegee, Richie formed a succession of R&B groups in the mid-1960s. In 1968, he became a singer and saxophonist with the Commodores. They signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1968 for one record before moving on to Motown Records initially as a support act to The Jackson 5.
The Commodores then became established as a popular soul group. Their first several albums had a danceable, funky sound, as in such tracks as “Machine Gun” and “Brick House.” Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads such as “Easy”, “Three Times a Lady”, “Still”, and the breakup ballad “Sail On”.
By the late 1970s, Richie had begun to accept songwriting commissions from other artists. He composed “Lady” for Kenny Rogers, which hit No. 1 in 1980, and produced Rogers’ album Share Your Love the following year. Richie and Rogers maintained a strong friendship in later years. Latin jazz composer and salsa romantica pioneer La Palabra enjoyed international success with his cover of “Lady,” which was played at Latin dance clubs.
Also in 1981 Richie sang the theme song for the film Endless Love, a duet with Diana Ross. Issued as a single, the song topped the Canada, Brazil, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and US pop music charts, and became one of Motown’s biggest hits. Its success encouraged Richie to branch out into a full-fledged solo career in 1982. He was replaced as lead singer for the Commodores by Skyler Jett in 1983.
Richie’s 1982 debut solo album, Lionel Richie, contained three hit singles: the US number-one song “Truly”, which continued the style of his ballads with the Commodores and launched his career as one of the most successful balladeers of the 1980s, and the top five hits “You Are” and “My Love”. The album hit No. 3 on the music charts and sold over 4 million copies.
His 1983 follow-up album, Can’t Slow Down, sold over twice as many copies and won two Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, propelling him into the first rank of international superstars. The album contained the number-one hit “All Night Long” a Caribbean-flavored dance number that was promoted by a colorful music video produced by former Monkee Michael Nesmith. In 1984, he performed “All Night Long” at the closing ceremony of the XXIII Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Several more Top 10 hits followed, the most successful of which was the ballad “Hello” (1984), a sentimental love song that showed how far he had moved from his R&B roots. Richie had three more top ten hits in 1984, “Stuck on You” (#3), “Running with the Night” (#7) and “Penny Lover” (#8), as well as writing & producing “Missing You” for former labelmate and duet partner Diana Ross (#10 Pop, #1 R&B).
In 1985, he wrote and performed “Say You, Say Me” for the film White Nights. The song won an Academy Award and reached No. 1 on the US charts, staying there for four weeks, making it the number-two song of 1986 according to Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 chart, behind the charity single “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne and Friends. He also collaborated with Michael Jackson on the charity single “We Are the World” by USA for Africa, another number-one hit.
In 1986, Richie released Dancing on the Ceiling, his last widely popular album, which produced a run of five US and UK hits, “Say You, Say Me” (U.S. #1), “Dancing on the Ceiling” (U.S. #2), “Love Will Conquer All” (U.S. #9), “Ballerina Girl” (US #7), and “Se La” (U.S. #20). He made his return to recording and performing following the release of his first greatest-hits collection, Back to Front, in 1992.
On October 18, 1975, Richie married his college sweetheart, Brenda Harvey. In 1983, the couple informally adopted Nicole Camille Escovedo, the two-year-old daughter of one of the members of Lionel’s band, and niece of drummer Sheila E. They raised her as their daughter, Nicole Richie, and adopted her legally when she was nine years old.
In 1986, while still married to Harvey, Richie began a relationship with Diane Alexander. He later separated from Harvey, who in 1988 allegedly discovered Richie and Alexander together in a Beverly Hills hotel room by saying she was “room service.” Richie and Harvey divorced on August 9, 1993 after nearly 18 years of marriage. Richie married Diane Alexander on December 21, 1995.
They have a son, Miles Brockman (born May 27, 1994), and a daughter, Sofia Richie (born August 24, 1998). The marriage ended in 2004.
Richie became a grandfather in 2008 when Nicole Richie gave birth to a baby girl with the lead singer of Good Charlotte, Joel Madden. Richie’s second grandchild was born to the couple in 2009.