Monday 5 December 2016

Lionel Richie: The Irish 'take over the show and keep going'

Sasha Brady

Published 04/07/2016 | 11:41

Lionel Richie performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Lionel Richie performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Lionel Richie's Glastonbury set has led to a jump in sales of one of his albums
Lionel Richie performing on The Pyramid Stage during the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Lionel Richie has spoken about his upcoming visit to Ireland.

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The legendary US singer will return to Ireland this summer to headline the Punchestown Music Festival on July 23.

Today he spoke to Ryan Tubridy on Radio One about his upcoming visit to Ireland.

A regular visitor to these shores, the former Commodores singer, said he's looking forward to the crowd's response.

"There is nothing better than the crowd who likes to sing while I'm singing," he said.

"And Irish people, they love singing."

He joked: "I always say to other performers, 'If you ever wanna go and take a break in the middle of the show go to [Ireland]', the crowd might just take over the show and keep going."

But he did have a piece of advice for gig-goers: "Prepare yourselves... I know that many of the people are coming there to hear me sing but make sure you meet the person to your left, to your right and the person behind you and in front of you because they're the ones who are going to be singing louder than me.

"I hope you like the group your with."

Richie became a worldwide phenomenon when his song Hello became a smash hit in 1984 and to-date, the lyrics "Hello, is it me you're looking for?" remain quoted around the globe.

Lionel Richie performing on The Pyramid Stage during the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Lionel Richie performing on The Pyramid Stage during the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

And Punchestown fans can look forward to a show packed with the hits.

He's a performer who knows how to please a crowd and doesn't shy away from playing his biggest numbers. In fact, he admitted that he is very blessed to be in that position.

After a triumphant set at Glastonbury Festival last year, which saw over 100,000 people flock to the iconic Pyramid Stage to hear him perform, Lionel Richie & The Commodores' The Definitive Collection stormed to number one on the Official Albums Chart - proving that he's still as popular as ever.

"I know this may sound strange but I have not had a job in my life, this is the best hobby I've had and has stuck with me throughout my entire life," he said.

The hitmaker said that he believes fame is more important than people knowing his name and believes he owes his fans a service.

"What is famous? Famous is driving around in your car and people scream at you but truly what famous is all about, and I think the reason that God gives you the gift, is that it's supposed to be something that you give back, something that you're supposed to do while you're here on this planet, to inspire people or to awaken a sleeping world."

And thankfully for fans, the singer revealed that he's not thinking of retiring any time soon.

"Now we're doing outside stadiums and festivals and the crowds keep coming. Why would I want to stop?"

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