Iran and Iraq have had their differences, but both are united in rapture over the love songs of Lionel Richie -- to the astonishment of the soul legend.
Over the past decade, the 'Hello' singer has become a phenomenon across the Arab world. Iraqis who speak no English can still sing the entire Richie songbook.
In the Kurdistan city of Erbil, authors read their poetry to interpretations of songs by Richie (63) at a literary festival held this year.
"This is probably the most fascinating experience of my career," said the artist who has sold 100 million records. "The music has found its way to the Middle East. It comes down to 'I Love You'. That crosses every border."
The unit adopted his 'All Night Long' as their motto and produced merchandise depicting the lyrics and Richie's face.
(© Independent News Service)