Remember Lionel Richie’s Country Hits?
Lionel Richie is one of the biggest pop stars of the past five decades, but did you know he has also scored country hits?
Richie began his career as a member of the Commodores, who scored a string of hits in the '70s with mellow Richie ballads including "Easy," "Three Times a Lady," "Sail On" and more.
The multi-genre success of those records made Richie an in-demand songwriter for other artists, and in 1980, Kenny Rogers asked him to write a song for his upcoming Greatest Hits album. The result was "Lady," which became one of Rogers' biggest career hits, landing at No. 1 across multiple genres, including Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart.
More Artists Who Hae Unexpectedly Gone Country
Richie scored another huge country hit in 1986, this time as a solo artist after leaving the Commodores and becoming a pop superstar. He collaborated with Alabama on "Deep River Woman," which he released as the fourth single from his smash album Dancing on the Ceiling. "Deep River Woman" hit No. 10 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, and also scored Richie a No. 28 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart.
A native of Alabama, Richie later displayed his country influences on an album called Tuskegee in 2012. He re-recorded his greatest hits in new collaborations with country artists including Willie Nelson, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton and more. Little Big Town appeared with him on a new version of "Deep River Woman" for that album, and he and Rogers collaborated on a new version of "Lady."
Tuskegee debuted at No. 1 on the mainstream Billboard 200 album chart, Richie's first album to do so since Dancing on the Ceiling in 1986.