Lionel Richie became a pop and R&B star in the 1970s as lead vocalist for the Commodores. They had hits with funk songs like "Brick House" and the ballads "Three Times a Lady," "Sail On," and "Still." In 1981 Lionel Richie had a #1 pop hit with the Diana Ross duet "Endless Love" from the movie of the same name. He followed that with his solo debut album the next year and left the Commodores to pursue his solo career. These are his 10 best hit songs as a solo artist. The pop chart peak is listed with each song title.
"Dancing On the Ceiling" is the title song from Lionel Richie's third solo album and his second consecutive #1 collection. The song's video referenced Fred Astaire's classic ceiling dance routine from the 1951 film Royal Wedding. The video was directed by the film's director Stanley Donen. It was one of the most expensive music videos filmed up to that time. Lionel Richie re-recorded the song with Rascal Flatts for his 2012 album Tuskegee.
This ballad was the third single from Lionel Richie's third album Can't Slow Down. It became one of his biggest hit singles topping pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts as well as the UK pop singles chart. The music video is memorable in its depiction of Lionel Richie discovering a blind woman shares his feelings about her when he sees she is sculpting his head out of clay. He re-recorded the song with Jennifer Nettles for his 2012 album Tuskegee.
"My Love" was the third single from Lionel Richie's self-titled debut solo album. It features guest backing vocals from country singer Kenny Rogers. In addition to its pop chart success, the song hit #1 on the adult contemporary chart and the top 10 on the R&B singles chart. Lionel Richie re-recorded "My Love" with country singer Kenny Chesney for his 2012 album Tuskegee.
"Running With the Night" was co-written by Lionel Richie with legendary pop songwriter Cynthia Weill. Richard Marx performed session backup vocals on the song. The guitar solo was created by Steve Lukather of the band Toto. Bob Giraldi, who directed Michael Jackson's famed "Beat It!" video, directed the clip that accompanies "Running With the Night." The song reached the top 10 on the pop, R&B and adult contemporary charts as well as the pop singles chart in the UK.
Lionel Richie wrote and recorded "Endless Love" as a duet with Diana Ross for the movie Endless Love. The song reached #1 on the pop singles chart and stayed there for nine weeks becoming the 18th #1 hit of Diana Ross' career and her biggest hit. "Endless Love" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song From a Motion Picture. Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey reached #2 with their version of the song in 1994. Lionel Richie re-recorded "Endless Love" with Shania Twain for his 2012 album Tuskegee.
Lionel Richie co-wrote "You Are" with his wife Brenda Harvey Richie. This was Lionel Richie's second single, and Richard Marx performs background vocals as a session singer. "You Are" was a top 5 hit on the pop and R&B singles charts and went all the way to #1 on the adult contemporary chart. Lionel Richie re-recorded "You Are" with Blake Shelton for his 2012 album Tuskegee.
Lionel Richie wears a cowboy hat on the single cover for "Stuck On You" to acknowledge the strong country influence in the song. "Stuck On You" accomplished the rare feat for its time of being a hit on pop, R&B, and country charts. It was most successful with adult contemporary audiences going all the way to #1. Lionel Richie re-recorded "Stuck On You" with country singer Darius Rucker for his 2012 album Tuskegee.
Lionel Richie wrote and recorded "Say You, Say Me" for the soundtrack to the movie White Nights. It earned his second Academy Award nomination and his first victory. "Say You, Say Me" is one of Lionel Richie's biggest hit singles going to #1 on the pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts. He re-recorded the song with Jason Aldean for his 2012 album Tuskegee.
For "All Night Long (All Night)" from the Can't Slow Down album Lionel Richie combined soul with Caribbean sounds. Film director Bob Rafelson put together the music video that accompanies the song. "All Night Long (All Night)" hit #1 across the pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts. Lionel Richie was chosen to perform "All Night Long (All Night)" at the closing ceremonies for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. He re-recorded the song with Jimmy Buffett for his 2012 album Tuskegee.