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Timeline : Lionel Richie

June 20, 1949

Lionel Richie is born in Tuskegee, Alabama. He becomes a member of the Commodores before finding fame as a solo artist.More

August 12, 1978

After years on the road and substantial chart success, The Commodores finally get their first #1 hit with the Lionel Richie-penned ballad "Three Times a Lady," which is taken from their album Natural High. The single stays at #1 for two weeks.

November 15, 1980

"Lady," written by Lionel Richie, becomes a #1 Hot 100 hit for Kenny Rogers. It stays at the top for six weeks.

May 8, 1981

Lionel Richie and Diana Ross meet at a Reno, Nevada recording studio at 3:30 a.m., where they record vocals for "Endless Love," needed quickly so it can be inserted into the film of the same name. Richie flew in from Los Angeles; Ross drove up after her concert in Lake Tahoe. The song becomes one of the biggest hits of the decade.

August 15, 1981

"Endless Love," a duet between Diana Ross and Lionel Richie, tops the Hot 100 for the first of nine weeks. It's the theme song from a movie of the same name, starring Brooke Shields.More

September 21, 1981

Nicole Richie is born Nicole Escovedo in Berkeley, California. Born to percussion player Peter Escovedo, she is taken in by Lionel Richie and his wife Brenda at age 3, and adopted by the couple at 9. She becomes a popular socialite, starring with Paris Hilton on the reality show The Simple Life.

November 27, 1982

Lionel Richie, who has already topped the Hot 100 with his group Commodores ("Three Times A Lady," "Still") and with Diana Ross ("Endless Love"), reaches the top spot on his own with his first single, "Truly."

February 23, 1983

After 18 nominations, Lionel Richie finally wins a Grammy when his solo debut single "Truly" takes the award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.

October 11, 1983

Lionel Richie releases his second solo album, Can't Slow Down, which goes on to sell over 10 million copies in America.More

November 12, 1983

With some fabricated Swahili ("Tambo liteh sette mo-jah!"), Lionel Richie hits #1 in America with "All Night Long (All Night)."

May 12, 1984

Lionel Richie's "Hello," a song inspired by his younger years when he was too shy to talk to the ladies, goes to #1 in America.

August 12, 1984

Lionel Richie performs his hit song "All Night Long (All Night)," with special lyrics written for the occasion, at the closing ceremony of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. One of his backing dancers is a young Cuba Gooding Jr.

January 28, 1985

With the stars in town for the American Music Awards, "We Are The World" is recorded in Los Angeles, with cameras rolling for the video.More

January 28, 1985

Lionel Richie hosts the American Music Awards, where he wins five of the eight awards he's nominated for, including Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist. He can't slow down: After the show, he heads to A&M Recording Studios to record "We Are The World," which he wrote with Michael Jackson.

March 7, 1985

The song "We are the World" is released as a single, soon achieving massive chart success all around the world. The song, written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, is recorded for charity to help battle famine in Africa. The supergroup USA for Africa brought together for the recording features a stunning list of big names in music - everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan to Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper and Dionne Warwick.

March 24, 1986

At the 58th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Lionel Richie wins the Oscar for Best Original Song for his track "Say You, Say Me" from the film White Nights. The song topped three different Billboard charts but didn't appear on the soundtrack album for the movie. It was finally released on Lionel's 1986 album, Dancing on the Ceiling.

June 29, 1988

Lionel Richie's wife Brenda is arrested for assaulting her husband after finding him at the apartment of another woman, Diane Alexander. The couple divorce in 1993, and in 1995, Richie marries Alexander.

August 9, 1993

Lionel Richie finally divorces his first wife Brenda Harvey, who was his college sweetheart. After carrying on a secret relationship with Diane Alexander since 1986, it was only a matter of time. Richie married Alexander on December 21, 1995 and fathered two children, Miles Brockman and Sophia, before the pair split in 2004.

May 27, 1999

Lionel Richie and his wife Diane Alexander have their first child, Miles Brockman.

June 20, 2003

For his 54th birthday, Lionel Richie receives a special gift: a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. According to Richie, the star's location on Hollywood Blvd. isn't far from the Holiday Inn where The Commodores stayed on their first trip to LA while recording their debut album.

September 23, 2007

Lionel Richie appears on The Simpsons in the episode "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs."

June 15, 2008

Lionel Richie is given a TV Land Icon Award by the cable network.

July 7, 2009

After a private ceremony at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, Michael Jackson's public funeral is held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Most TV networks cover the event, where Kobe Bryant, Mariah Carey, Andrae Crouch Choir, Motown founder Berry Gordy, Jennifer Hudson, Magic Johnson, John Mayer, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Brooke Shields, Usher and Stevie Wonder all participate.More

December 11, 2010

Good Charlotte's Joel Madden marries Nicole Richie at the home of Richie's dad, Lionel Richie, in Los Angeles.

May 24, 2012

Billboard announces that Lionel Richie's Tuskegee is the second-best-selling album of the year so far in 2012, right behind Adele's 21. It's notable that the soul/R&B singer and Motown alumnus began his career in 1967, and is still connecting with modern audiences a full five decades later.

March 11, 2018

American Idol, which ran for 15 seasons on Fox, returns on ABC just two years later with new judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

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