[State Department Photo/ Public Domain]

Lionel Richie says he once wanted to be a priest

The American singer and reality show judge Lionel Richie has told People magazine that the clerical life had appealed to him once. 

Richie, member of the band the Commodores and then solo singer of hits such as All Night Long, told the magazine about his career, parenting and being a judge on American Idol. 

Speaking of his early career, he said: “I left my mum and dad’s house to go to Tuskegee University and I met my Commodore friends there,

“At the time I was seriously considering being an Episcopal priest.”



“[But] the first time I played with the Commodores, a group of girls screamed,” he added.

“Up until that moment no one, no girl, had ever screamed at me. I didn’t play basketball, football, baseball. I played on the tennis team, and no girl ever screamed at the tennis court. It was right after those girls screamed, I remembered saying to myself, ‘I don’t think I’m gonna be priest material.’”

He went on to talk about his marriage to Brenda Harvey, Diane Alexander and current relationship with Lisa Pariji. 

“I’m a man who’s been through the ups and the downs, the ins and the outs of love,” he said.

“Love is not an exact science, it’s something you have to go through. People don’t walk in love, people fall, which means you’re out of control, there’s no logic. How you survive is your story.”


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