Is Lionel Richie the next Hootie?

Learned today that Lionel Richie, the singer 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.

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.”

I was never a big Lionel Richie fan, so while reserve comments for when I actually hear the music. 

About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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