Lionel Richie Goes Country
Lionel Richie, the man who gave us such pop standards as “Say You, Say Me” and “Three Times A Lady,” is readying his country debut. Next March, Mercury Nashville will release Tuskegee, Richie’s country duets album. His singing “pardners” will include Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Jennifer Nettles, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Billy Currington, Little Big Town, and Jason Aldean.
However, before the disc’s release next year, he will perform on the Country Music Association Award show on November 9. Having not heard the music, I will reserve judgement but his pop hits never struck a chord with me. Is this much different from Rod Stewart singing American Songbook tunes?
In today’s press release, Richie states that:
“I was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama. I am a country boy and proud of it. To do this project just felt natural,” says Richie.
“Growing up with country, R&B, gospel, and classical music from my grandmother and pop, Tuskegee was the perfect melting pot for my influences as a writer,” he says, “and the title, Tuskegee, is a validation of my growing up there—the place I call home.”
The ex-Commodore with Shania Twain
Photo credit: Alan Silfen