Lionel Richie: 25 Things You Don’t Know About Me (I Don’t Know How to Read or Write Music!)

Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Singer Lionel Richie, who has a line of luxury home entertaining products called Lionel Richie Home Collection, shared 25 interesting facts about himself with Us Weekly.

1. When I was growing up, I wanted to be an Episcopal preacher.

2. I am restoring the family house in Tuskegee, Alabama, that I grew up in. It was given to my grandparents as a gift from Booker T. Washington.

3. I was an economics major at Tuskegee University, with a minor in accounting.

4. I’m an active gardener and well-versed in plants and flowers. I go to my garden when I need a quiet place to reflect.

5. My favorite flower in my garden is the bougainvillea.

6. I used to be painfully shy.

7. I joined the Commodores when I was in college. I told my dad I would drop out of school to join a band that would become “the black Beatles.”

8. I am a junior. My dad was Lionel Richie Sr. and the funniest man.

9. My mother was a school principal.

10. My favorite food is homemade Southern cuisine.

11. When traveling, I spend most of my time in art galleries.

12. If I didn’t spend my career singing, I would have been a landscape architect or interior designer.

Lionel Richie in 1984
Lionel Ritchie performs on stage in Chicago on June 12, 1984. Paul Natkin/Getty Images

13. I’m addicted to design magazines.

14. And I’m a collector of fireplaces.

15. My grandmother was a classical pianist in the middle of the civil rights movement.

16. I took Nelson Mandela shopping in 1990. It was an incredible moment.

17. I make a pretty mean peanut butter sandwich.

18. I don’t know how to read or write music.

19. I have a sweet tooth and love oatmeal cookies and carrot cake.

20. My daughter Nicole [Richie, 34] calls me “L-Train.”

21. And my grandkids [Harlow, 8, and Sparrow, 6] call me “Pop Pop.”

22. I’m a news junkie. CNN is always on in my house and hotel rooms.

23. Every morning, I drink a glass of hot water with lemon.

24. [Soccer player] Lionel Messi, 28, was named after me.

25. My dog Napoleon (Poly) is a King Charles. He doesn’t listen to me — ever.

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