Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. was born on June 20, 1949. Lionel is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor.
I grew up listening to all kinds of music and I remember hearing many songs, mostly love songs from Lionel Richie and thinking how brilliant he was as a songwriter. Lionel said that greatness comes from fear and I think it is very possible. Doesn’t only come from fear but I think that it has deep roots that stem from fear and he’s right that you can choose to let it shut you down or you fight your way through it. I believe that Lionel fought through it and I know I have fought my way through fear. I’m not sure I’m through it all the way but I’m still fighting.
I believe that Lionel’s legacy has been to share love and passion so that the world would know of love and of passion. I think that the world often forgets because of all the hate, cruelty and miscommunication. I think that’s why music has resonated with me. Sometimes I would listen or try to figure out the lyrics on my own (if I liked the song) which made me listen more carefully to music and hear more in the music.
A lot of people have asked me why I was so good at Name that Tune when I would play and a lot of it stemmed from wanting to figure out what the lyrics were and growing up with Friday Night Videos, Night Tracks and of course the birth of MTV which at that point they were actually playing videos. Now MTV is more-so reality shows and other things when I was much happier when it played music videos.
The first video played on MTV was the Buggles song, “Video Killed the Radio Star”… I find it ironic now because MTV is less about the music video and if you want to hear music radio is still around. I say ironic but I think it was video (MTV) killed the music video.
♬ Why in the world would anybody put chains on me ♬ ♬ I've paid my dues to make it Everybody wants me to be ♬ ♬ What they want me to be ♬ ♬ I'm not happy when I try to fake it! ♬
I thought with everything that is going on in this world today and that we’re fighting for a change for equality because black lives matter that I have my own interpretation of what Lionel was talking about in the song Easy. It may never have been anything about slavery but I found this lyric profound and he’s saying that why do you want to trap me or confine me when I’ve paid my dues with everything that everyone else wanted him to be and it didn’t make him happy to be the puppet for the masses. He could’ve been talking about many things a relationship, being in the entertainment business and the demands of what the record company wanted from him or could be something completely else. What are your thoughts on what Lionel meant?
There may not be the slaves that we learned about in history and that are being talked about today and observing when the slaves were finally freed on Juneteenth. But there is so much more that needs to be done and corrected with law enforcement and the way we treat each other.