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Lionel Richie

Lionel Brockman Richie (born June 20, 1949) is an [American] [singer-songwriter] and [record producer] who has sold (solo or as group member) more than 100 million records.
Early years
Born in [Tuskegee] , [Alabama] , Richie grew up on the campus of [Tuskegee Institute] . His grandfather's house was across the street from the home of the president of the Institute. His family moved to [Illinois] where he graduated from [Joliet Township High School] , East Campus, in [Joliet] . A star [tennis] player in Joliet, he accepted a tennis [scholarship] at Tuskegee Institute and later graduated with a major in [economics] . After receiving his undergraduate degree from Tuskegee, Richie briefly attended graduate school at [Auburn University] . Lionel is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

The Commodores

As a student in Tuskegee, he formed a succession of [R&B] groups in the mid-1960s. In 1968 he became the lead singer and saxophonist with the [Commodores] . They signed a recording contract with [Atlantic Records] in 1968 for one record before moving on to [Motown Records] , being schooled as a support act to the [Jackson Five] . [The Commodores] became established as a popular soul group. Their first several albums had a danceable, funky sound with such tracks as " [Machine Gun] " and " [Brick House] ". Over time, Richie wrote and sang more romantic, easy-listening ballads such as " [Easy] ", " [Three Times a Lady] " and " [Still] " and the tragic break-up ballad, "Sail On."

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