Lionel Ritchie chats to Yours about his life lessons

Lionel Ritchie chats to Yours about his life lessons
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  • Success can be a problem 
    Being a songwriter as well as a performer can be a problem sometimes. I was once at a party and everyone was there that I know from the music scene when suddenly a bright spark said “Heh, let’s get all of  the singers in the room to sing, one by one, all of  Lionel’s hits.” 

    At that point Barbra Streisand and I both slid into a corner and a few minutes later we nodded and both went to the bathroom where we agreed that we should leave as soon as possible.

  • Stress helps me
    I am constantly under stress but whereas most people hate it, I love being under stress. I like putting myself in fearful situations because then I have to perform to an excellent level.
  • Surprises are good
    I like to raise people’s eyebrows and play with the art of music; when I did a song with Kenny Rogers everyone said, “What are you doing messing with country music?” but it was amazing. We should never get stuck in a rut. 
  • I can’t read music
    I have always carried a dictaphone with me just in case I get a melody in my head at any time of day or night. I can’t read music but I can read chords. The dictaphone and a chapstick come everywhere with me!  
  • Time is relative
    When I travel I like to keep my watch on Pacific time for the first week, if  I fly into London for example. It tells me where I am in terms of my biorhythm and helps with my sleeping and waking. It has been a helpful lesson.
  • My grandmother inspired me
    I marvelled at my grandmother’s faith. She became a priest and lived to be well over 100. Even if  I was on the other side of  the world, she would often call me up. Sometimes she would just call and leave a message.
  • Holidays are essential
    Holidays are a time to completely unwind. For me that means lying as still as possible like a pebble on the beach. I try to do
    nothing at all.
  • What made you who you are today?
    The first day I walked into Motown’s offices my life was changed forever; it was like my first day at the ultimate university and my instructors and tutors were Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.

Lionel Richie & The Commodores: The Definitive Collection previously made it to number 10 in the charts when it was released in 2003 but the album topped the  charts again after Glastonbury 2015.

Picture: Rex Shutterstock