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Lionel Richie Worked Under Pressure When He Wrote the Second Verse of ‘Lady’

The legendary musician Lionel Richie has been active for more than 50 years. His well-known songs, including “All Night Long,” “Hello,” and “Say You, Say Me,” have topped charts all over the world and are still favorites among fans.

Yet in a recent interview, Richie related a hilarious tale about how he came to write “Lady,” one of his most well-known songs, which was initially performed in 1980 by country music legend Kenny Rogers.

As Richie explains, he was sitting on the toilet when he received a call from Rogers, asking him to write a song for him. “It’s very simple. I’m working with Kenny Rogers — this is back in the day — and so Kenny calls and says, ‘I want you to write a song for me,'” Richie said on The Drew Barrymore Show. “And, of course, I wrote ‘Lady.'”

It’s a humorous incident that adds to the already fascinating background behind “Lady.” The music was a big success, reaching the top of the charts in many countries and winning a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. Also, it marked the beginning of Richie and Rogers’ long and fruitful collaboration.

Yet Richie’s imagination doesn’t stop there. Additionally, he mentioned that Rogers had asked him to write a second song, which he had done. But things didn’t turn out how we had hoped. “We got halfway through ‘Goin’ Back to Alabama’ and then Kenny quite literally changed his tune,” Richie recalled.

These kinds of tales reveal the human aspect of legendary musicians like Richie. While his career is spectacular, it is also evident that he is not hesitant to expose the amusing behind-the-scenes situations and make fun of himself. His supporters are won over even more by his candor and sense of humor.

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Richie Reveals

Richie’s contribution to music goes far beyond “Lady,” but it’s interesting to see how a simple phone call while sitting on the toilet can lead to a career-defining moment. It’s a reminder that creativity can strike at any time and in any place.

So, the next time you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, take a page out of Richie’s book and remember that great things can come from unexpected places. And who knows, maybe your next hit song is waiting for you in the bathroom.

The story goes like this: Richie was working with country star Kenny Rogers, who had requested that he write a song for him. 

Richie quickly penned the first verse of “Lady,” but when he presented it to Rogers, the singer surprised him by saying he wanted to sing “Lady” first instead of the second song Richie had prepared. Richie was caught off guard since he hadn’t yet written the second verse of “Lady.”

“He says, ‘I don’t want to sing that song. I think I want to do ‘Lady’ first,'” Richie recounted. “Now, what he didn’t know was I only had written the first verse of ‘Lady.'”

So what did he do? He excused himself and went to the bathroom. As he sat on the toilet, Richie thought creatively and quickly came up with the missing verse. When he emerged, he handed it to Rogers, who loved it.

“I said, ‘Excuse me for a minute. Let me, uh, go to the bathroom,'” he said in an interview with host Drew Barrymore. A few minutes later: “I’m sitting in the stall writing the second verse to ‘Lady.'”

Writing in the Toilet

Richie’s ability to write a hit song under such pressure is impressive, and it’s a testament to his talent as a songwriter. As he explained to Barrymore, fear can sometimes bring out the best in us. When we’re pushed to our limits, we can surprise ourselves with what we’re capable of achieving.

“You will do some amazing things when you’re scared to death,” he stated. “The idea of telling Mr. Rogers that I don’t have the second verse was not going to happen in my lifetime.”

This anecdote also sheds light on the creative process of songwriting. As Rogers joked in a previous interview, Richie has a reputation for writing ideas rather than entire songs. But that doesn’t mean he lacks talent or skill. 

On the contrary, it takes a lot of creativity and intuition to come up with a great idea and turn it into a complete song. Richie’s ability to work under pressure and think on his feet is a testament to his experience and talent.

In the end, “Lady” became a huge success and a defining moment in Richie’s career. It’s a song that has stood the test of time and continues to resonate with audiences today. And it all started with a moment of inspiration in an unexpected place.

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Indelible Impact on the Industry

Richie is a legendary singer, songwriter, and producer who has had an indelible impact on the music industry. 

Born on June 20, 1949, in Tuskegee, Alabama, Richie got his start as a member of the Commodores, a funk and soul band that he joined in 1968. As the group’s lead vocalist, Richie helped propel the Commodores to fame with hits like “Brick House,” “Easy,” and “Three Times a Lady.”

However, Richie’s solo career is perhaps even more impressive. He released his first solo album, Lionel Richie, in 1982, which featured the hit singles “Truly” and “You Are.” But it was his follow-up album, Can’t Slow Down, that really cemented his status as a superstar. 

Released in 1983, Can’t Slow Down won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and featured hits like “All Night Long (All Night),” “Hello,” and “Stuck on You.” The album sold over 10 million copies and helped Richie become one of the biggest stars of the 1980s.

Richie continued to release successful albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s, with hits like “Dancing on the Ceiling,” “Say You, Say Me,” and “Penny Lover.” 

He also collaborated with other artists, including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Quincy Jones. In 1985, Richie was a part of the all-star charity single “We Are the World,” which raised money for famine relief in Africa.


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