If you were looking for Lionel Richie last night, he was back at the Hallenstadion in Zurich stopping by during the promotion of his Tuskegee Tour. The sixty-three years old American pop and soul singer didn’t show any sign of old age, looking better than ever.
After an amazing thirty minute performance of German singer Oceana, who came to present her newest album “My House”, Lionel Richie arrived shortly after 9:00 p.m. During almost a two hour show with great music, fantastic light effects, he sung with no interruption, hits from his solo repertoire to his Commodores years.
Lionel Richie even joked he would cover everything but the only problem, he said, is that he does not remember much lately! Luckily for the enthusiastic audience, many who had probably been following him since his debut with the Commodores, it was not the case.
Richie started his solo career thirty years ago this year in 1982 after leaving the Commodores with whom he performed for over a decade (1968-1982). He had hits such as “Brick House”(1973), “Easy (1977), “Three Times a Lady” (1978) and “Still” (1979). Since, he has released 10 albums and sold over 100 millions of them. His latest one, Tuskegee, released in March this year, is a way to go back to his origins. Richie was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama and went to the Tuskegee University where he met the other members of the Commodores. Tuskegee is a remix of his old songs sung in duet with famous country singers such as Shanai Twain, Kenny Rogers and Jimmy Buffett among others.
Richie was very talkative last night in Zurich, funny and even pausing for his many female fans in the public. “You have to give people what they want”, he joked while asking a girl to come closer to take a picture of him. He shared how cold he found Zurich at this time of the year compared to Los Angeles: “You are freezing here!”.
But in the Hallenstadion there was no time to cool off with Richie running from one corner to another. He started with “Around the world” from this album Coming Home and performed hits like “All night Long” (1983) & “Dancing on the Ceiling” (1986). Of course he didn’t miss any of his most romantic ballads such as “Stuck on Me” (1984), “Hello” & “Ballerina Girl” of the same year. Even without Diana Ross, he sung the beautiful song “Endless Love” (1981). He shared how a hit can come alive when there is a painful break-up, a betrayal or a new love in someone’s life.
The secret of the song “Three Times a Lady” during his time with the Commodores was as simple as that for Richie. His father told at the dinner table one day that his mother was a great mother, wife and special friend. Richie thought “That’s sound like a song to me!” and wrote the successful hit we all know. “My father asked for his check for the rest of his life”, he said smiling.
Lionel Richie is surely not done pleasing the crowds across the world with his old and newest hits.