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Lionel Richie reveals massive depression after his father died


ABC/Craig Sjodin

It doesn’t matter how much money, fame or success you have — no one’s immune from depression,  Just ask Lionel Richie.

The five-time Grammy winning singer and songwriter speaks candidly on the U.K.’s Lorraine TV show about how he struggled in the years following the death of his father, Lionel Richie Sr., in 1990.

“My father was ill and I went through a very — I won’t say a depression, a massive depression, because, you know, my dad was my hero,” Richie said.

Never mind that at the time, the most recent album that Richie had released was his massively successful Billboard #1, Dancing on the Ceiling.  He was so depressed, he stopped making music altogether, for ten years.

So what got him to start making music again?  The birth of his second child, son Miles, in 1994.

“I realized I had a group of people that were kind of looking up to me to be the head of the house,” said Richie, also referring to his daughter, Nicole.  “And I realized something else, something very terrifying: They didn’t know what the hell I did for a living!”

Shortly after, Richie released his 1996 album, Louder Than Words.

Today, of course, Richie, who’s 68, is enjoying a fresh resurgence of popularity and respect, with a new generation of fans discovering him in his role as a judge on American Idol, airing Sunday and Monday nights at 8:00 ET/7:00 CT on ABC.

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