Sunday 4 December 2016

Lionel Richie plans 'family gathering' holiday in Ireland after Punchestown gig

Eddie Rowley

Published 24/07/2016 | 11:34

Musician Lionel Richie (L) and his daughter Nicole Richie perform onstage during Lionel Richie and Friends in Concert presented by ACM held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 2, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Musician Lionel Richie (L) and his daughter Nicole Richie perform onstage during Lionel Richie and Friends in Concert presented by ACM held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 2, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(L-R) Singer Lionel Richie, daughter Nicole Richie and daughter Sophia Richie attend ASCAP's 25th Annual Pop Music Awards at the Kodak Theatre on April 9, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

Soul and pop legend Lionel Richie was the king of Punchestown on Saturday taking fans on a trip down memory lane with an arsenal of hits.

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The American superstar might not have been Dancing on the Ceiling – well it was an outdoor event at Punchestown Racecourse – but at the age of 67 he continues to prove on his current All The Hits Tour that he has enough fuel in the tank to perform All Night Long.

Although the attendance was smaller than predicted for the first pop and soul one-day music festival at the Co. Kildare venue, the crowd enjoyed top-notch performances from an eclectic mix of artists, ranging from golden oldies Steve Harley, Sister Sledge and Albert Hammond to Westlife’s Shane Filan, James Morrison and mCorinne Bailey Rae.

Before he arrived, Lionel told the Sunday World that he was planning to bring his family with him and would be doing some sight-seeing in Ireland while he’s here.

(L-R) Singer Lionel Richie, daughter Nicole Richie and daughter Sophia Richie attend ASCAP's 25th Annual Pop Music Awards at the Kodak Theatre on April 9, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
(L-R) Singer Lionel Richie, daughter Nicole Richie and daughter Sophia Richie attend ASCAP's 25th Annual Pop Music Awards at the Kodak Theatre on April 9, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

“The last two trips have been amazing because I have some friends that live out in the countryside,” he said.

“I had the chance to drive out to the country, so I got to appreciate the beauty of it. I normally fly in and fly out of Ireland, but I’m going to take this trip as a family gathering and go check it out.”

Kim Sledge of US super group Sister Sledge told Sunday World that the band has a long history with Ireland, going back to the 1980s.

“We love it here,” Kim said. “We’re staying at the beautiful K Club but we hope to get to an Irish pub where there will be fiddles play- ing.”

Sister Sledge first exploded onto the scene in 1979 with ‘We Are Family’ and have been touring the world ever since.

“We never tire of playing because we have the passion,” Kimadded.

Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie

British songwriter Steve Harley told the audience that the last time he played Punchestown was at the Oxygen music festival.

“I think some of the people here are older than me,” joked the 65-year-old granddad.

Harley is a huge fan of horse racing and regularly visits the Curragh.

“My friend’s horse, Cockney Rebel, won a major race here,” he added.

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