A family man! Lionel Richie might be known worldwide for his musical success, but to his three children, he’s just dad.
The American Idol judge has been married twice — to Brenda Harvey and Diane Alexander — and is the father of three kids: Nicole Richie, Miles Brockman Richie and Sofia Richie.
During his first marriage to Harvey, which lasted for nearly 18 years before its 1993 end, Lionel became a father when the then-couple adopted Nicole. While the “Hello” crooner and Harvey became The Simple Life alum’s guardians in 1983 (when she was 2 years old), they didn’t legally adopt her until she was 9.
“I think you changed my life a great deal in terms of softening my heart, because everything up to that point was about songwriting and the business and touring,” Lionel told his eldest daughter during a HuffPost interview published in December 2020. “All of a sudden I found something that I could actually fall in love with that was never going to leave me. How about that?”
The “Dancing on the Ceiling” singer’s heart expanded two more times when he and then-wife Alexander welcomed son Miles and daughter Sofia in 1994 and 1998, respectively.
When Lionel was honored with a foot and handprint ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard, all three of his kids were by his side.
“They’ve done so much to try to kill me,” the musician joked to Entertainment Tonight in March 2018. “But to have them here? [All] I’ve heard all day was, ‘Dad, we’re so proud of you! Dad, we’re so proud of you!’ You know, that means everything to a parent.”
Lionel’s love, however, doesn’t stop with his kids. The Academy Award winner has long been supportive of his son-in-law Joel Madden, who married Nicole in December 2010. The rocker gushed over his relationship with his father-in-law via Instagram in June 2020.
“Happy Birthday @lionelrichie,” Madden captioned a snap of Lionel with Nicole and their two children, Harlow and Sparrow. “Legendary Father, Mentor and Friend, Thank you for always Being a rock in my life❤️.”
Nearly three years later, Lionel added another son-in-law to his brood when daughter Sofia married Elliot Grainge in April 2023.
“She spent the whole time walking down the aisle, [saying], ‘I love you dad, I love you dad, I love you dad, “ Lionel recalled to Extra in April 2023 of the moment he gave his daughter away. “I go, ‘You’re killing me. You’re killing me.’ But that’s what a dad wants to hear. And I love Baby Girl so much, and the family was there to root her on.”
The proud dad added: “It was a moment where, yes, I was letting her go, but I was also gaining a family. The family is getting huge right about now, but we are happy.”
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