- 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