Lionel Richie Speech & Performance

“I missed 25 years of pep rallies, bonfires, and family reunions.”
Photo: Getty Images for The Rock and Ro

Hello, maybe this speech is what we were looking for all along. Lionel Richie was a very engrossing open book during his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, preaching from the podium about everything from his fulfilling era with the Commodores (“thank God”) to the diversity of this year’s class (“rock and roll is” not a color; it’s a feeling, it’s a vibe”). But it was Richie’s comments about his decades-spanning career ethos that had the audience’s ears perked up the most, when he admitted that he preferred tour life to domestic life, often to the detriment of his closest relationships.

“I must say also that there are people that have actually had to tolerate quite a bit,” he explained. “Sometimes when you fall in love with the music business, you tend to fall out of love and people don’t understand what the hell you’re doing over. I missed 25 years of pep rallies, bonfires, and family reunions.” He continued, after listing his three children — you know Nicole and Sofia — and other family members: “I want to thank them for actually sitting through my magical mystery tour. And I want to let everyone know that I am probably not coming home for quite a while. I’m in love with this business. I love what I do. Thank you so much for this amazing moment.”

From left: Two fellas. Photo: Getty Images for The Rock and RoPhoto: Getty Images for The Rock and Ro

From top: Two fellas. Photo: Getty Images for The Rock and RoPhoto: Getty Images for The Rock and Ro

Lenny Kravitz, who inducted Richie, christened the singer-songwriter as “love personified” who “doesn’t have a pretentious bone in his body.” He was also joined by pal Dave Grohl on guitars to perform “Easy.” Richie’s family was seated at a table in the arena — close, but maybe not close enough.

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