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Music
What you need to know for 01/18/2017

Lionel Richie still bringing in the hits and filling theaters

Lionel Richie still bringing in the hits and filling theaters

Feel like dancing on the ceiling? Then oh, what a feeling you’ll get on Friday. Lionel Richie is the
Lionel Richie still bringing in the hits and filling theaters
Longtime hitmaker Lionel Richie is set to perform at SPAC on Friday.

Feel like dancing on the ceiling? Then oh, what a feeling you’ll get on Friday.

Lionel Richie is the hot ticket at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and his 7:30 p.m. show promises all the smooth singer’s top tunes. The current tour is “All the Hits, All Night Long,” and that means it could be a long night for Richie fans.

The big songs have been coming since 1981, when Richie left the soulful The Commodores to pursue a solo career. He became one of the most successful artists of the ’80s, and scored a string of 13 top 10 hits through 1987. The singles included “Endless Love,” a ballad with Diana Ross, “Truly,” “All Night Long,” “Hello,” and “Say You (Say Me).”

Collaboration with the late Michael Jackson produced the famous anthem for 1985’s “Live Aid” concerts — “We Are the World.” In 1986, Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling” became a pop and R & B classic. And there’s been “Stuck on You,” “Love Will Conquer All” and “Penny Lover.”

Singer, rapper and actor CeeLo Green will open the Saratoga show.

Lionel Richie, with CeeLo Green

WHERE: Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday

HOW MUCH: $125-$25

MORE INFO: www.spac.org

Richie, now 65, was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama. He’s had some lucky breaks — and funny stories — along the way.

-- One of The Commodores’ most famous hits was the 1977 “Brick House.”

-- Lionel has sold more than 100 million records around the world, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.

-- The future singer played tennis in college, and was once noticed walking across campus with a saxophone in his tennis whites. The guys who noticed him were in “The Mystics,” and asked if he could play. Lionel answered “Yes,” even though he only knew a few notes. Richie later was invited to join the group, which eventually became The Commodores.

-- Richie wrote “Lady,” a monster hit for Kenny Rogers in 1980.

-- Richie’s single “I Call it Love” from his 2006 studio album “Coming Home” became his biggest U.S. hit in 10 years.

-- Richie has never been afraid to take chances: In 2012, he reworked some of his biggest hits as duets with country superstars such as Shania Twain, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton and Darius Rucker. The album, “Tuskegee,” was a smash. It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 list.

-- Lionel performed at Michael Jackson’s 2009 memorial service.

-- Richie has helped raise more than $3.1 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

-- He has appeared on both the Canadian Idol and Australian Idol TV shows.

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