One thing is for sure is that Lionel Richie is a rich man. Since the global community has had of him numerously, it is only safe to assume that no one is surprised by his $200 million net worth. In fact, it would go as a surprise if Richie was actually broke, but he sure is not. Not only is he rich, but his adopted daughter is rich as well. The same goes for most of his associates and partners who he has worked with over his long career of over four decades. One thing is for sure, Lionel Richie is only going to get richer as long as he lives on. Since his money will most likely increase even after his death, we really should find out how he got so far.
Richie’s Humble Beginnings
Richie was not born rich back on June 20, 1949. In fact, he attended Joliet Township High School where he graduated despite its poor statistics. He was born in Tuskegee. To obtain his tertiary education, Richie had to excel at something, and it was not music at that time. He attended Tuskegee Institute under a tennis scholarship because he was the institution’s star player. Lionel Richie was not content with the Economics Major that he received and yearned to obtain even more education. That’s why he joined Auburn University.
Forming R&B Groups
Lionel Richie started forming R&B groups from the early 1960s. He played for several other groups while in college and campus. This was a sharp contrast from his earlier days when he preferred to be a clergyman. Before attending university at Tuskegee, Richie was a member of the Episcopal Church, and he really wanted to be a priest there. More than likely he was drawn by the musicality that is always present in places of worship since that is where most township music lovers can access musical instruments more freely than in schools with too much bureaucracy.
Richie joined the Commodores in 1968 and became the group’s singer and saxophonist. That’s when he really started making it big in the music industry. The group was promptly signed by Atlanta Records before Motown Records took it on later. Richie’s popularity along with his fellow Commodores picked up after they got a chance to play back up for the Jackson 5. At that time, they were spending time in the studio producing what came to be major smashing records including:
- Three Times a Lady
- Machine Gun
Well, we all know how songwriting can be a lucrative career. One of Richie’s biggest earners in the 1970s and early 1980s was writing songs for musical acts as big as the legendary Kenny Rodgers. In 1982, he left the Commodores to launch his solo career. While on his solo career, Lionel put out major hits: one after the other. His biggest hits before 1985 were Truly, Hello, My Love and You Are. By 1985, he was a music icon with enough merits to coordinate the mega charity hit song, which he helped to write and compose, We Are the World. He did it with the legendary Michael Jackson, and it sold over 20 million copies thanks to the input of other iconic music celebrities of the time.
Do the Math
Richie’s debut album sold four million copies. His second album did much better and sold eight million copies. It earned him two Grammy awards and achieved an enviable record of double platinum with time. Before his first album, he made a duet theme song for the Endless Love film, and it performed very well on various music charts. The theme song sold over two million copies quickly and led to the big success of the film. It did much better if you consider that the two million copies sold were accounted for in the United States alone, and both Richie and Diana Ross were global music icons.
All through his long career of accolades and popularity, Lionel enjoyed numerous paid opportunities to perform live for huge audiences. In 2013, he was paid 1.3 million dollars to feature for Tap King Beer’s promotional campaign. On top of that, he is currently a judge for American Idol that pays him exceedingly well.
Richie owns several luxury cars and a massive mansion. He has sold over 90 million copies of his music in the span of his career, and he is still entitled to more cash through his vast copyrights.