When Diana Ross met Lionel Richie

Rising to popularity as the lead singer of one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, Diana Ross burst onto the music scene in the 1960s with The Supremes.

Ross branched out on her own in 1970 and has achieved great success in her own right too, finding recognition alongside her music career as an actor in film, TV and theatre.

© Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

With a similar back story, Lionel Richie rose to fame in the 1970s as lead singer of the Commodores. He then became even more popular after penning hit songs like ‘Lady’ for Kenny Rogers, which went on to become a Billboard Hot 100 number 1, as well as one of the world’s bestselling singles, ‘Endless Love’, which he performed with Diana Ross. He’s also had success as a record producer and TV personality, more recently acting as a judge on the popular singing show, American Idol.

The success of Endless Love

Diana Ross and Lionel Richie are perhaps best remembered together for the single Endless Love, which was released in 1981. Recorded for Motown Records, the track was the anthem for Franco Zeffirelli’s film adaptation of the novel of the same name.

As the second-biggest-selling single of the year in the US, it was number one for nine weeks from August 15th to October 10th.

The success of Endless Love, which achieved an Academy Award nomination for Best Song, made the movie a hit, despite negative reviews from critics. The pair went on to perform a long-since talked-about rendition of the song at the 54th Annual Academy Awards (1982).

Richie was still technically the frontman of the Commodores when Endless Love shot to popularity, and this is speculated to be part of the reason why he began a solo career.

What happened next?

Despite the song’s huge success, Richie has stated that, sadly, when he asks Ross to perform the duet with him, she always refuses. Still, both singers continue to perform and entertain crowds, even though they’re in their 70s. Both have made appearances at the Eden Project, Cornwall, where Ross wowed those who had flocked to see her in June 2022.

Richie is also said to be making a return to the stage in 2023 for the first time since July 2016, when he performed two sell-out shows. He is set to tour eight countries, performing 24 concerts in the New Year.

Continuing to stun audiences in a huge range of venues with their talent and personality shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, seeing as Ross and Richie are two of the biggest legends of the music industry.

When it comes to such well-known stars, it is easy for performers to fade into the background or eventually stop singing over time, but these two have made sure they continue to share their energy and passion with the public for as long as they possibly can.

Both Diana Ross and Lionel Richie have brought not only great music but also wonderful character to the music and television industries, and it can only be hoped that they continue to do so for many more years to come.

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