Top 50 Songs
Lionel Richie was born June 20, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama. As a freshman at Tuskegee Institute in 1968, he met the other members of what was to become the Commodores. The group signed with Motown in 1972 and became hugely successful on the pop and R&B charts.
In 1980, Richie penned “Lady” for Kenny Rogers and it was a huge crossover hit. The following year, “Endless Love,” his duet with Diana Ross, was even bigger. It paved the way for his solo career, which he launched in 1982.
Richie became one of chart history’s most successful crossover artists, landing #1 songs on the pop, R&B, adult contemporary charts and even the country chart (if you count “Lady”). His 1983 album, Can’t Slow Down, won the Grammy for Album of the Year. “Endless Love” is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999.
Check out the Dave’s Music Database podcast episode The Best of Lionel Richie based on this list. Premiere: May 24, 2022 at 7pm CST. New episodes based on Dave’s Music Database lists are posted every Tuesday at 7pm CST.
Awards (Lionel Richie):
Top 50 Songs
Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Songs are solo hits by Richie unless marked otherwise. Songs which hit #1 on various charts are noted. (Click for codes to charts.)
DMDB Top 1%:
1. Endless Love (with Diana Ross, 1981) #1 US, #1 AC, #1 RB
DMDB Top 2%:
9. Truly (1982) #1 US, #1 AC
DMDB Top 5%:
10. Easy (Commodores, 1977) #1 RB
DMDB Top 10%:
15. Lady (You Bring Me Up) (Commodores, 1981)
DMDB Top 20%:
23. Oh No (Commodores, 1981)
Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:
34. Slippery When Wet (Commodores, 1975) #1 RB
41. Angel (2000)
Resources and Related Links:
First posted 6/20/2017; updated 5/24/2022.