Lionel Richie Net Worth

How much is Lionel Richie worth?

Net Worth:$220 Million
Profession:Professional Singer
Date of Birth:June 20, 1949
Country:United States of America
1.8 m

“The bass player that we (the Commodores) had before Ronald, Michael Gilbert, he was the lead singer and I became the singer, only because as I became a writer, I only sang the songs that I wrote, period. Ever so quietly, I just kept going to the front where I would put this horn down. Eventually, I would never pick up the horn and of course the rest is history. I never went back to the horn.” — Lionel Richie

Binge Worthy

About Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie was born June 20, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama. He grew up on the campus of the Tuskegee Institute until his family moved to Joliet, Illinois where Lionel Richie graduated from high school. He was a star tennis player in high school and accepted a scholarship to play tennis at the Tuskegee Institute. While a college student in Alabama in the late 1960’s, Lionel Richie became interested in forming a musical group.

American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor, and television judge Lionel Richie has a net worth of $220 million dollars, as of 2021. He’s currently being paid $10 million per season as a judge on American Idol.

He became a global star, as it happens, Lionel Richie is one of the most popular pop music stars in the country of Iraq.

The Commodores

The group the Commodores was formed at Tuskegee from the aftermath of the breakup of two previous groups, the Mystics and the Jays, with Lionel Richie as saxophonist and vocalist. The new group headed to New York City in the early 1970’s, gained a stellar live reputation, and eventually signed with Motown Records. Ultimately, the Commodores scored 7 top 10 pop hits in the 1970’s including the #1 hits “Three Times a Lady” and “Still,” both written by Lionel Richie.

Lionel Richie Goes Solo

Following the #1 success of Lionel Richie’s songs “Three Times a Lady” and “Still” as well as the #1 pop song “Lady” he wrote for Kenny Rogers, Richie became the unintended focal point of the Commodores. This caused strain within the group, and, after spending 9 weeks at #1 on the pop charts in the “Endless Love” duet with Diana Ross, Lionel Richie decided to record as a solo artist. His first, self-titled album included 3 top 10 pop singles and the #1 smash “Truly.”

Lionel Richie’s Top Pop Hit Singles:

  • All Night Long – 1983 – #1 (4 weeks)
  • Say You, Say Me – 1985 – #1 (4 weeks)
  • Hello – 1984 – #1 (2 weeks)
  • Truly – 1982 – #1 (2 weeks)
  • Dancing on the Ceiling – 1986 – #2
  • Stuck on You – 1984 – #3
  • You Are – 1983 – #4
  • My Love – 1983 – #5
  • Running With the Night – 1984 – #7
  • Ballerina Girl – 1987 – #7

Can’t Slow Down

Lionel Richie’s second solo album Can’t Slow Down, released in 1983, became the biggest hit of his career. It sold over 10 million copies, included 5 top 10 hit singles, and was named Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards. Lionel Richie’s worldwide pop stature was confirmed when he was invited to perform “All Night Long” at the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Dancing on the Ceiling

During the period between albums, Lionel Richie and his wife Brenda began raising a 3-year-old girl named Nicole. She would later be legally adopted by the couple, and Nicole Richie has gained her own fame as an actor and author. Lionel Richie’s third solo album Dancing on the Ceiling was released in 1986 following the #1 smash single “Say You, Say Me” from the movie White Nights. This album sold only 4 million copies and failed to produce a #1 single.

Commercial Slowdown

Following Dancing on the Ceiling, Lionel Richie’s recorded output slowed considerably. A 1992 greatest hits collection included the #1 r&b; single “Do It To Me.” A 4th studio album Louder Than Words finally appeared in 1996. It eventually sold over a million copies but failed to reach the top 20 on the album chart after the previous 3 albums all made the top 3. A string of albums met a similar fate until Lionel Richie’s 8th solo album in 2006.

Lionel Richie’s Comeback

Lionel Richie pulled together a set of some of pop and r&b;’s most successful contemporary producers to record his 8th studio set Coming Home. Jermaine Dupri, Dallas Austin, and StarGate all lend their talents. The first single, “I Call It Love,” produced and written by StarGate, has become Lionel Richie’s most successful single in 10 years. It has reached the top 20 on Adult Contemporary, R&B;, and Dance charts as well as making Richie’s first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 in 10 years. This comeback was punctuated by a top 10 debut for the album Coming Home making it Lionel Richie’s highest charting album since Dancing on the Ceiling hit the top of the chart 20 years before in 1986. Coming Home was certified gold for sales.

Lionel Richie’s next album, 2009’s Just Go was less successful. However, three years later in 2012 he put together an album of re-recorded versions of his classic songs performed with major country artists. The result was his first #1 album since 1986.

In 2018 he was appointed a judge to reboot American Idol.

How did Lionel Richie earn his net worth?

Lionel’s debut album in 1982 sold over four million copies. The second album came out better and sold twice as many copies. This album won him two Grammy awards and was double platinum. Endless Love was a big hit in the music charts before his first album. The song sold over two million copies and was Motown’s biggest hits at the time. Lionel was established by the time Hello came out as the world’s best balladeer. The 80s were what made it for Lionel. In total Lionel sold over 100 million. His 1983 album Can’t Slow Down garnered Diamond Platinum when it reached 10 million in sales.

Three of his albums released in the 80s had four No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 – Truly, All Night Long (All Night), Hello, Say You, Say Me. He also achieved over a dozen Top 10 singles overall on the Pop, R&B, and Adult Contemporary charts.

In 1994, he was inducted into the Composers Hall of Fame. He was also awarded the George and Ira Gershwin Award in 2008, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Throughout his massively popular and acclaimed music career, Richie enjoyed many paid opportunities to perform for a wide audience. He also had endorsement opportunities like being paid $1.3 million to take part in the Tap King beer advertising campaign in 2013.

Although his later albums in the 90s were not huge commercial successes, he continued to perform in concerts with upcoming and singers throughout the 2000s at the Philidelphia Museum of Art, Times Square (for New Year’s Eve), and on the season finale of American Idol. In 2012, Lionel released Tuskegee, his 10th studio album which went to the top of the Billboard 200 chart; his first number one album after more than 25 years which became Platinum within six weeks of release. Lionel did not stop concert tours either. After his 2013 tour, which was the first tour in over 10 years, in 2019, he announced another tour which kicked off in May at Arlington’s KAABOO Festival.

He is currently a judge on American Idol for which he is getting paid $10 million per season run.

He owns several luxury cars and mansions. Since the beginning of his career, Richie has sold over 100 million copies of his music. He continues to receive royalties from his music which are extraordinarily popular in the Arab world.

Why is he so famous?

Most of Richie’s melodies have conquered the soul and R&B stations around the world. His songs Truly, Hello, Say You, Say Me, and Three Times a Lady are synonymous with the name Lionel Richie. He was also the musician who co-wrote and compose the charity megahit We Are the World with Michael Jackson that sold over 20 million copies. It is the eighth best-selling physical single of all time. He started a successful career with the Commodores and went on to have an even more successful solo career. Lionel is known the world over, especially in the Middle East, Japan and South East Asia.

He has worked with other superstar singers and musicians like Enrique Iglesias, Kenny Chesney, and Diana Ross. In addition to his music career, he has acted in films such as Pariah and Who Do You Thinks You Are series.

What makes him so successful?

Lionel continues to record and tour around the world although he is not so well-known these days in his native United States. He has, however, found new audiences and achieved new success around the world. He is a huge hit and performed sell-out concerts in Dubai, Libya, Morocco, and Qatar.

Lionel’s soulful ballads were the standard-bearers of romanticism of the 80s, and became the go-to music during romantic nights in and weddings for couples around the world.

Richie strives to remain relevant and in January 2010, he teamed up with producer Quincy Jones to record a new version of We Are the World for the earthquake relief project in Haiti. Richie is often at the forefront of charity and awareness campaigns, including raising awareness of breast cancer in honor of his grandmother. Her grandmother survived the disease and lived to the age of 104. In 2017 he was honored at the Kennedy Honor Center where they paid tribute to Richie, known for hits such as Three Times a Lady and Say You, Say Me.


Lionel Ritchie is a singer-songwriter, born June 20, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama. He is the son of Brockman Ritchie, a retired army captain, and Alberta Foster, a primary school teacher, and a graduate. He grew up on the campus of the Tuskegee Institute in Macon County, where most of his family members worked for decades. Lionel graduated from Joliet Township High School, despite his poor grades. He was a star tennis player at his high school and won a sports scholarship to study at the Tuskegee Institute, where he later graduated with a degree in economics. Lionel had wanted to be a priest initially but later decided he was not priest material. During his student days at Tuskegee in the 60s, Lionel formed various bands and played mostly R&B. He was musically gifted, having had the benefit of a classical pianist for a grandmother who exposed him to classical music.

After graduating from Tuskegee, Lionel joined a band called the Mystics as a saxophonist, composer, and sometime singer. Mystics became the R&B band Commodores which became quite popular with the local crowds. Encouraged by their local following, the Commodores went to New York during their summer breaks and caught the attention of an agent who signed them up at various night clubs. The next summer, they went on a European tour playing at various venues. It was during one of their sessions that they met a Motown Record Corporation executive who signed them up to open for the Jackson 5. After that opening, the Commodores‘ music career took off.

In 1978, the Commodores released Three Times A Lady written by Lionel Richie. It was a ballad in 3/4 Waltz time that went straight to the Billboard Hot 100. Lionel’s early exposure to classical piano had equipped him for composing melodious ballads and his musical ability enabled him to work with various stars of the day like country singer Kenny Rogers for whom he wrote and produced Lady in 1980. In 1981, he wrote and sang Endless Love with Diana Ross which became the title song of the film Endless Love. Lionel was now synonymous with beautiful and soulful ballads. Endless Love became Motown’s biggest hits of all time and topped the charts in Australia New Zealand, Canada, Brazil, Japan, and the USA.

1982 was the year Lionel Richie left the Commodores and embarked on a solo career, encouraged by the success of Endless Love. He had nothing to worry about as the years following that he would go on to write and sing some of the best ballads the world had heard at the time. The single Truly from the debut album Lionel Richie became the number one song in the US. The album itself had 2 other hits, You Are and My Love; was number 3 on the charts and sold well over 4 million copies. This was followed by several more songs, including Dancing on the Ceiling and Hello. In 1985, he and Michael Jackson wrote the hunger song We Are the World which became an instant hit selling some 20 million copies. Lionel’s albums Louder than Words (1996) and Time (1998) did not do so well. He continued to release studio albums in the 2000s, like Coming Home (2006), and Just Go (2009) which were also not commercially successful. He resumed his success, however, with his 2012 country album Tuskegee.

World-Famous and Respected Artist

Musician and composer Lionel Richie is a world-famous and respected artist. His successful career started at Tuskegee University with the band Commodores Soul and Funk. He continues his solo career which began in 1982 to this day, playing to his fans all over the world and contributing to the development of young singers and musicians in his current role as an Idol Judge.

Richie is at the Top 5 of the Commodores’ albums. The hit “Brick House”, which secured 5th place in the U.S. R&B charts, helped the band to get into the R&B spotlight.

His solo career Dancing on the Ceiling, published in 1986, is still considered one of his greatest successes to this day. It won first place in the Billboard Hot 200 and has sold more than 4 million copies. Richie has won 17 awards, including the Grammy, American Music Awards and Billboard Music Awards.

  • He received the George and Ira Gershwin Award for his career.
  • A prestigious award as a Hollywood star of fame.
  • He received two Grammys, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year.
  • In 1994 he was also admitted to the Composers Hall of Fame.

Bradley Cooper Net Worth

Hulk Hogan Net Worth