Hello . . . and then goodbye, as Lionel cancels concerts

Kevin Doyle

LIONEL Richie has cancelled his performance at Dublin's O2 tonight on doctor's advice.

The 63-year-old has been advised to get some bed rest rather than play the gig in front of more than 10,000 fans.

A statement issued on his behalf explained that the Truly singer needs time off --but committed him to a new concert in November.

Doctors have also ruled Richie out of a date in Belfast Odyssey Arena on Wednesday night.

His spokesman said that he "now needed to respond to treatment".

The message added he was "extremely disappointed" about rescheduling his Irish appearances.

"Lionel always receives the warmest of welcomes in Ireland and that was why he had wanted to start his tour here -- he is very much looking forward to getting back later in the year to perform," added the spokesman.

The gigs have now been rescheduled to November 4 at the O2, and November 19 at the Belfast, The Odyssey.

Former Commodores' singer Richie became one of the biggest singers of the 1980's when he went solo in 1982.

In September 2011 the Alabama-born vocalist halted recording of his new album, and pulled out of a star-studded concert in London after falling sick.

The exact nature of his illness was not disclosed, but his spokesman said that Richie "would never allow himself to give less than 100pc excellence."