Multi-platinum selling artist, five-time Grammy winner and music icon, Lionel Richie, announced the extension of his worldwide "All The Hits All Night Long” tour, traveling through North America this summer with special guest CeeLo Green.
Richie grew up on the campus of Tuskegee Institute, where he formed a succession of R&B groups in the mid-60s. In 1968, he became the lead singer and saxophonist with the Commodores. They signed to Atlantic Records in 1968 for a one-record contract, before moving to Motown Records, being schooled as support act to the Jackson Five. The Commodores became established as America's most popular soul group of the 70s, and Richie was responsible for writing and singing many of their biggest hits, specializing in romantic, easy-listening ballads such as "Easy", "Three Times A Lady" and "Still". His mellifluous vocal tones established him as the most prominent member of the group, and by the late 70s he had begun to accept songwriting commissions from other artists. He composed Kenny Rogers' 1980 number 1 "Lady", and produced his Share Your Love the following year. Also in 1981, Richie duetted with Diana Ross on the theme song for the movie Endless Love. Issued as a single, the track topped the UK and US charts, and became one of Motown's biggest hits to date.
The success of "Endless Love" encouraged Richie to branch out into a fully-fledged solo career in 1982. His debut, Lionel Richie, produced another chart-topping single, "Truly", which continued the style of his ballads with the Commodores. In 1983, he released Can't Slow Down, which catapulted him into the first rank of international superstars, eventually selling more than 15 million copies worldwide. The set also won two Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year. It spawned the number 1 hit "All Night Long", a gently rhythmic dance number that was promoted by a startling video, produced by Michael Nesmith. Several more Top 10 hits followed, the most successful of which was "Hello", a sentimental love song that showed how far Richie had moved from his R&B roots. Now described by one critic as "the black Barry Manilow", Richie wrote and performed a suitably anodyne theme song, "Say You, Say Me", for the movie White Nights - winning an Oscar for his pains. He also collaborated with Michael Jackson on the charity single "We Are The World" by USA For Africa. In 1986, he released Dancing On The Ceiling, another phenomenally popular album that produced a run of US and UK hits. The title track, which revived the sedate dance feel of "All Night Long", was accompanied by another striking video, a feature that has played an increasingly important role in Richie's solo career.
Cee Lo Green:
Despite his short stature and tough appearance, the voice of Cee Lo Green has one of the most unique, non-traditionally melodic voices in music today. Cee Lo rose to fame with as a member of the hip-hop groups the Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley. In recent years, his solo career has reached new heights with the popularity of his hit single "Forget You" and sold-out tour dates. He also adds a unique touch to the many collaborations and appearances he makes with other popular artists, including Ludacris and Pharrell. Fans of Cee Lo Green can find him on 2011 tour dates in support of Rihanna on the Loud Tour this summer.
Thomas DeCarlo Callaway was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 30, 1974. His father died when he was only two, and his mother died just over ten years later. In 1991, at the age of seventeen, Cee Lo became the youngest member of the Goodie Mob, a pop rap group that, along with Outkast, was a part of the Dungeon Family in Atlanta. He struggled with depression as Goodie Mob first appeared on the Outkast album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. His sadness over the loss of his parents would appear in songs on Goodie Mob's critically acclaimed debut album, Soul Food, in 1995. Soul Food and the 1998 album Still Standing dealt with pressing social and political issues and both albums went gold. Cee Lo Green began his solo career on Arista Records with the release of Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections in 2002. This record and his second album, Cee-Lo Green… Is the Soul Machine, explored and expanded on southern rap, even fusing it with other styles of hip-hop, R&B, and jazz.
The artist had worked with DJ Danger Mouse a few times just prior to the release of his second album. Their collaborations became more serious and frequent, leading to the formation of Gnarls Barkley in 2005. The duo became a hit the instant "Crazy" was released as a single in early 2006. The single became a huge success in the US and the UK, and the album St. Elsewhere went platinum just a few months later. After exhausting tour dates in support of Gnarls Barkley's second album, Cee Lo returned his attention to his solo career, which took off like a rocket with the release of the single "Fuck You!" in August 2010. The parent album, The Lady Killer, was also a huge hit, with critics praising the album's soul sound combined with Cee Lo's outstanding vocals.
Cee Lo is busy working on a number of projects that will hopefully surface soon. Cee Lo's next effort is to support Rihanna on concert dates for her 2011 tour. Before the tour kicks off, Cee Lo is playing a May 21 concert date at the Hang Out Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. 2011 tour dates for Rihanna's Loud Tour begin on June 4 in Baltimore and end on July 24 in Boston. During that that tour, Cee Lo will play concert dates at the Glastonbury Festival on June 24 and Saturday in the Park in Sioux City, Iowa on July 2. Cee Lo will finish off his tour dates in 2011 with three shows in Australia, beginning on July 30. For tickets and tour date info, be sure to check Eventful.