‘Hello’ singer Lionel Richie was saved from post-divorce depression by listening to a tape of his own songs he has claimed.
The performer, now 64, married his college sweetheart Brenda Harvey, in 1975, but the couple separated after more than a decade together, eventually divorcing in 1993, 18 years after their marriage.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Richie recalled the period:
“I went through a painful period in my life when I lost my father and got divorced at the same time. Then a friend said to me: ‘Lionel, I have some inspirational tapes I want you to listen to’. He handed me my own songs with certain ones underlined and I started listening to my lyrics – this time from the point of view of someone who needed that message.”
The singer added:
“My friend said: ‘You already know the answers. You have done it for other people for years, it’s time for you to listen to yourself’. I used to look out into the audience and wonder why that guy was crying to one of my songs and now I get it – it just hits something in your core.”
Richie is best known for a string of still popular hit singles in the 1980s, including Hello, All Night Long and Dancing On The Ceiling.
He was originally a member of pop-soul group The Commodores, still remembered for such songs such as Easy and Three Times A Lady, both written by Richie.
The singer married his second wife, Diane Alexander, in 1995 and the couple had two children before divorcing in 2004.
Photo by Daniele Civello via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence