This Day in Black History: June 20, 1949

Lionel Richie, renowned singer and songwriter, was born.

Posted: 06/20/2014 12:00 AM EDT
This Day in Black History: June 20, 1949

He is one of the world’s most successful singers, composers and record producers, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Lionel Richie, who was born June 20, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama, is one of the best-selling artists of all time.

He first came to the attention of the public as the lead singer with the Commodores and signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1968. The group had several successful songs, including “Brick House” and “Machine Gun.” Richie started to do more composing and leading romantic ballads that became his signature, including “Easy” and “Three Times a Lady.”

By the late 1970s, Richie started accepting songwriting commissions from other artists and started his solo career in the early 1980s. After that, he started doing small roles in films in addition to songwriting and performing worldwide.

This year, Richie will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BET Awards.

Follow Jonathan Hicks on Twitter: @HicksJonathan

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(Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

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