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Lionel Richie: 'We're at Las Vegas university'

Published 29/04/2016

Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie is still suffering "to this day" from the "painful, painful platform shoes" he had to wear during his time in the Commodores.

Lionel Richie treats his time in Las Vegas like a "university education".

The 66-year-old singer kicked off his All The Hits residency at Planet Hollywood's Axis Theater in Sin City this week (27Apr16). The show has been praised by fans and critics alike, but Lionel admits he has learned a lot since his first time performing in the U.S. city.

"When I did my first solo show in Las Vegas Sammy Davis Jr. came to that show. It was an education, it was a university - we are in Vegas university," Lionel said during an interview on Good Morning Britain on Friday (29Apr16).

"Because what I've learned here is that it's not the songs. The songs are going to keep you around, that's if the songs stick - it's what you say in between that makes the show."

Lionel first shot to fame as part of the Commodores, and performed with the group on the same stage in Vegas back in 1978, adding: "It was all hair, painful, painful platform shoes and I'm suffering from it to this day!"

He has enjoyed a rise in popularity over the past few years, and even played the Glastonbury music festival last year (15). But when it comes to the "new generation" of the music industry, Lionel has become "the elderly statesman" - being called on by stars including Pharrell Williams to impart his musical knowledge.

"I think what's happening now is that as time goes on, you become the elderly statesman of the (music industry)," he laughed. "Where you become the all-knowing... It was like Lionel Richie sitting down with Marvin Gaye, or Smokey Robinson - that was like, 'Tell me more'. So when I get around the, I call it the new generation, you know, they want to know how we did it, and we like to pass it on."

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