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Lionel Richie’s, Tuskegee Available March 19

Lionel Richie’s, Tuskegee Available March 19

Featuring Thirteen of Richie’s Hits Performed With Country’s Biggest Stars Including Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson and Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland)

Live Star Academie (Quebec) Performance Confirmed For March 18

(TORONTO - January 26th, 2012)

– Music icon Lionel Richie will release Tuskegee, a collection of thirteen of his international hits recorded with some of the biggest names in country music on March 19 through Universal Music Canada, the country’s leading music company.

His duet partners on Tuskegee, a multi-genre album, include superstars like Canada’s own Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington and Little Big Town. On the eve of Tuskegee’s Canadian release, Richie will appear on Quebec’s leading television program, “Star Academie”, performing six of his classic super-hits LIVE to over two million viewers.

Tuskegee is a musical homecoming that feels like a heartwarming reunion with a beloved friend. Richie proves that you can go home again as he returns to his Southern roots to pay tribute to his hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama where he was indelibly shaped as a man and a musician. He was exposed to country, gospel, R&B and classical music while growing up, and it was in Tuskegee where he helped form the Commodores and wrote his first hits, including “Sail On” and “Easy”. “Tuskegee is where it all began, the place where I felt that everything was available and possible,” Richie says. “It’s where I learned about life, love and the power of music, and the place I built a musical foundation that knows no genres or boundaries.” “Doing this album was like going back to the beginning, back to basics, back to home,” added Richie. “The part of it I love the most is that the journey has been one of discovering myself. By the time I got back to Nashville, I clearly knew that the roots of my songwriting, my storytelling, were from the South.” It’s also been a process of rediscovering the hits that have served as the soundtrack of the lives of generations around the world.

“Every Lionel Richie song that I can think of I had a personal experience with – high school homecomings, proms, you name it,” says Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts, who duets on “Dancin’ On the Ceiling.” “Lionel was always playing in my house. His music always said what we felt and couldn’t express.” Says Darius Rucker, who joins Richie on “Stuck On You,”: “I wanted to work with Lionel because he is one of my idols. Lionel’s more a part of my DNA really than an idol. It was an absolute honour to work with him.” Adds Jason Aldean, who selected “Say You, Say Me,”: “I’ve always been a huge fan. He is probably one of the best singer/songwriters of this generation.”

Once again, Richie is following his songs as they take him back to country, where they have been welcomed for more than two decades. Conway Twitty recorded “Three Times a Lady”. Kenny Rogers famously sang “Lady” and Alabama recorded “Deep River Woman”. Artists such as Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts perform his songs in their shows. He has performed on the Country Music Association Awards three times, and his 2011 performance receive two standing ovations and was recognized as the highlight of the evening. “When I did the CMAs and the room was singing along with me, it was really more like a family reunion than it was a concert or show,” he says. “It was just great validation to know that the music was accepted like it was.”

These innovative musical interpretations have given new meaning to his songs while serving as a powerful reminder of the timelessness of his impressive body of work. He asked the other singers to select the songs and ignore his original version and instead perform the song as if it were their own. “I wanted it the way they would do it in their show, which means I captured their essence. You make the song a Willie Nelson song. You make the song a Rascal Flatts song.” “It’s special to the point where it sounds new again, so I’m excited just as the writer, as the parent of this child. I’m excited to see another generation embrace the music.”

Richie says recording Tuskegee was perhaps the most fun he’s ever had in the studio. “Tuskegee is one of the most special albums I’ve ever done in my life because it’s a moment in time when these artists all got together and celebrated some music,” he says. “What started out as a collaboration of a group of very talented, very successful artists ended up growing into brand new, very good friends.”

Lionel Richie’s Tuskegee Track-Listing:

1. “You Are” with Blake Shelton
2. “Say You, Say Me” with Jason Aldean
3. “Stuck On You” with Darius Rucker
4. “Deep River Woman” with Little Big Town
5. “My Love” with Kenny Chesney
6. “Dancing On The Ceiling” with Rascal Flatts
7. “Hello” with Jennifer Nettles
8. “Sail On” with Tim McGraw
9. “Endless Love” with Shania Twain
10. “Just For You” with Billy Currington
11. “Lady” with Kenny Rogers
12. “Easy” with Willie Nelson
13. “All Night Long” with Jimmy Buffett

For more information on Lionel Richie, visit:

Twitter: @LionelRichie