Thursday, 22 February 2024 01:22

WYNN - The Mega Star Series - Lionel Richie

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SW small Logo The reach of country music is enormous. There's a reason Nashville is called Music City as we have artists coming to town to pursue their goal of a country career or more accurately in many cases a certain country album or project.  Artists that are not necessarily country too like Motley Crew, The Beach Boys, The Eagles, Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson, Cheryl Crowe, Elle King, Demi Lavato, Alison Krause, and many others come to mind all having different levels of success. 

Darius Rucker came to Nashville a number of years ago, sans The Blowfish, and has had tremendous success.  Ray Charles too years ago.  And in the 80's Lionel Richie had a country hit with Stuck On You,  then came back years later to record his country album, Tuskegee, which was a very big success.  Tuskegee is the historic city where Richie was born and the university where he graduated from.  The album is an absolute masterpiece.  I feel it's mandatory owning. 

Stuck On You  - Richies First Country Release

 

Tuskegee is a collection of 12 Richie hits that were remade with the biggest country stars and legends of the time in Nashville in 2012. The album to a degree followed the same formula as Ray Charles, Friendship album of the 80's, but the main difference was these were all established Richie hit songs where Friendship was a mix of material. The tracks were all re-recorded in Nashville to reflect a more country sound than the originals.  This album was far bigger than I think many were envisioning it would be. It became Richie's first number one album since the pop smash album, Dancin' On The Ceiling in 1986.  That's 26 years, and Tuskegee sold close to 2 million copies.  By any measure, it was a big hit.

With Jennifer Nettles - Awards Show Magic

 

I saw Lionel Richie perform at the Ryman in Nashville around the time of the release of this album.  He performed a songs from it, and was joined by Darius Rucker and hearing those two legends sing as Richie played the piano in the perfect Ryman setting was a real treat.  After all these years, he was in great voice and seemed excited about this project.  Richie is one of those artists that is so versatile and smooth, he sounds good singing about anything.

Darius And Richie  - This Version Of Stuck On You - Amazing

 

In 1984 when many country stations played Stuck On You, Richie fit right in with the sound of much of the pop country that was dominating the charts.  This was a long way from his days as the lead singer of The Commodores years earlier that gave us great classics like Brick House, Sail On, Easy Like Sunday Morning and Three Times A Lady.  The latter was remade by Conway Twitty in the early 80's and was a big hit going top 5.  Richie also teamed up with Alabama in 1986 and scored a top ten country duet hit, Deep River Woman, which is a fantastic song.

Big Hit With Alabama - Top 10  - Sensational Duet - Much Loved

 

Richie of course was a huge pop star that recorded a lot of albums over the course of his 40 plus year career.  But you may not know he also wrote the smash hit, Lady for Kenny Rogers which along with The Gambler became the song Rogers was most known for and is one of the most loved and biggest country hits of all time. It is safe to say the Lionel Richie was one of those artists that was just good for music in general. 

With Blake Shelton  - Just Terrific!

 

He was -  and is a prolific songwriter, a sensational vocalist, a very popular and much sought after performer to work with in the music business overall.  And by the way, all the songs I've mentioned in this article, Richie wrote.

With Willie Nelson  - Just Great! 

 

He's done it all, funk, soul, pop, and country. Lionel Richie a big contributor to many kinds of music, country included.

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Read 1236 times Last modified on Thursday, 22 February 2024 04:31

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