After leaving the Commodores, Lionel Richie became one of the most successful male solo artists of the '80s, arguably eclipsed during his 1981-1987 heyday only by Michael Jackson and Prince. Richie dominated the pop charts during that period with an incredible run of 13 consecutive Top Ten hits, five of them number ones. Titled simply Lionel Richie, his solo debut was released in late 1982 and was an immediate smash, reaching number three on theRead more pop charts on its way to sales of over four million copies. It spun off three Top Five pop hits, including the first single "Truly," which became Richie's first solo number one. If Lionel Richie made its creator a star, the follow-up Can't Slow Down made him a superstar. Boasting five Top Ten singles, including the number ones "All Night Long (All Night)" and "Hello," Can't Slow Down hit number one, eventually sold over ten million copies, and won the 1984 Grammy for Album of the Year. By the end of 1985, he was on top of the charts again with "Say You, Say Me," a ballad recorded for the film White Nights. The song was slated to be the title track on Richie's upcoming album, but delays in the recording process prevented the record from being released until August 1986, by which time the title was changed to Dancing on the Ceiling (in order to promote Richie's next single release). The album didn't match the success of Can't Slow Down, but it still sold an impressive four million copies, although Richie's reputation for sentimental ballads was beginning to incur a backlash in some quarters. After 1987, Richie fell silent, taking an extended break from recording and touring before beginning a comeback toward the tail end of the '90s. Read less
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