Lionel Richie On Hits Tour, Gibberish Lyrics And The Legend Of ‘Hello’

“If Could Pull Off A Commodores Reunion, I Will Be The Miracle Worker Of life,” Says Richie

Source: Andy Greene / Rolling Stone

Lionel Richie is launching his most extensive American tour in years this month, and he wants his fans to know the show will be extremely heavy on songs they know and love. He’s even called the tour All the Hits All Night Long. “I’ve been around artists that say, ‘I just won’t play my hits. I’ll play something new,'” he says. “That’s why I’m saying it’s all the hits all night. This is just back-to-back karaoke on steroids.”

We spoke to Richie about the tour (featuring special guest Cee Lo), his enduring global appeal, the possibility of a Commodores reunion, what the gibberish means in “All Night Long” and the infamous video for “Hello.”

What’s going on right now as you’re prepping for this tour?
First off, we finished a Pacific Rim tour about three-and-a-half weeks ago. They said I’d have all this time off, but it’s taken me that long to get over the jet lag. But the truth is that we’re ready for the tour. It’s just a matter of tweaking the show a bit. We’ve been touring since 1978. People always say that I haven’t been touring. The truth is that I just haven’t been touring America.

How do you put together a set list for a tour like this?
You cross your fingers and hope you nailed it. The good news is that we have probably more than four hours of music. Trying to pick between them is the hard part. We have to go back and figure out the party songs, the marriage songs, where did you just go to college … We have a pretty good list. We also have to back ourselves up and prepare about ten audibles just in case we get to a certain place and they start screaming for a song we aren’t quite ready for. We’ll have an arsenal of favorite songs and other songs.

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