Sensual crooner Lionel Richie has been around the block a few times. Though the 66-year-old has lived a lot of his life in the spotlight, there are still some facts about the singer that many people do not know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Lionel Richie. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: His Net Worth is $200 Million. The singer has had a long career, so while this may not come as much of a surprise, it certainly is an impressive amount.
Number Fourteen: Nelson Mandela Made Him Cry. In 1990, Richie met with Nelson Mandela in Beverly Hills. Mandela said to him, “Young man, I want to thank you for your music…your lyrics got me through many years in prison.” As a result, Mandela made Richie cry.
Number Thirteen: He Adopted Nicole When She Was Four. Nicole was actually the daughter of his bandmate, but Lionel adopted her when she was just four years old. She adopted Lionel’s last name and now goes by Nicole Richie.
Number Twelve: He Dropped Out of College. While Richie attended Tuskegee Institute on a tennis scholarship, he actually considered studying divinity and becoming a priest. However, he eventually came to the conclusion that he was not “priest material,” and he subsequently dropped out to pursue his career as a musician.
Number Eleven: He Has Invented Languages. Though many people have speculated that the lyrics at the end of Richie’s song “All Night Long” is Swahili or perhaps Berber, it is actually made up! The actual lyrics are, “Tam bo li say de moi ya, hey jambo jambo!” and they don’t really mean anything at all.
Number Ten: He Helped Style Nelson Mandela. Though Mandela made Richie cry, Richie did something else for Mandela as well. Richie helped Mandela update his wardrobe and develop his style after he was released from prison.
Number Nine: He Is Part of the Chinese Curriculum. According to Richie, he says that Chinese schools teach his songs in schools while kids are learning English. His catchy lyrics for “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” and “All Night Long.” help the children remember the words.