Belfast Telegraph

Lionel Richie was in 'denial' about severity of knee injury

Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey's tour now kicks off in July.

Lionel Richie had convinced himself he could carry on performing with an injured knee until his team forced him to stop.

The Dancing on the Ceiling singer underwent laparoscopic (keyhole) knee surgery, to treat a torn meniscus, a cartilage, in January (17) and he subsequently postponed his tour with Mariah Carey, which was scheduled to start in March.

The 67-year-old has now revealed that throughout his lengthy career he has been programmed to push his problems aside and continue performing, so it was hard for him to postpone the shows because he's not used to taking time out.

"You go into denial and you are like, 'Oh, OK, I am having a little knee problem, I will just do some more shows and work it out,'" Richie told ETOnline about his knee injury. "In the old days if you got a little pain, you work it out. Well, the more I started doing shows, what I had was a torn meniscus and the guys said what you do with that is you have to stop, and I didn't know how to stop."

Lionel, who had prided himself on not cancelling shows, admits he went through a "series of withdrawals" after the tour was postponed and his team had to "sit and talk to me and go, 'Lionel, it is not the end of your career.'"

Lionel, who "feels great" now, returns to performing on 22 June ahead of the All the Hits Tour, which features Mariah as a special guest and kicks off in Oakland, California on 21 July and ends in Seattle, Washington on 5 September.

He also teased fans about what they could expect on the tour, hinting that there is a "strong rumour" he will duet with Mariah. The pair have known each other for years and the "extremely respectful" Mariah addresses him as "Mr. Richie" even though he insists that she call him by his first name.

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