“I was your James Taylor guy, you know? I was your Carole King guy. I was your Marvin Gaye guy. Very sensitive. One of the things I heard growing up was, 'Mr. along with Mrs. Richie, the problem with Lionel can be he's too sensitive.' And, of course, all that meant was that I was a songwriter. I was not a football player, along with I was not going to be a hunter. I'm the guy that shot a bird one time and cried over the bird for the next two days, you know? That's just who I am.”—R&B singer-songwriter Lionel Richie quoted in Alex Pappademas, “Pull Up a Seat, the Professor Is In,” The New York Times, Mar. 11, 2018
I don’t hate Lionel Richie, mind you—I just find his music bland (even though, indisputably, he has written songs that worm their way into your ears and won’t come out).
Although I’m not sure I could listen to his music all day long, I’m quite sure that I can listen to him talking all day long. Based on the interview with The New York Times quoted above, Mr. Richie—who turns 69 today—is a brilliant raconteur, insightful and funny. Click on the title link above and see if you don’t agree with me.
(This photo of Lionel Richie was taken at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on December 2, 2017.) [State Department Photo/ Public Domain]