Lionel Richie going country with duets album

Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:53pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hello! Lionel Richie is going country.

The smooth R&B singer will take to the Country Music Association awards stage next month to perform some of the duets from his upcoming album "Tuskegee" -- named after his Alabama birthplace, organizers said on Wednesday.

Richie, 62, best known for romantic ballads like "Three Times a Lady" and "Endless Love", will sing a country version of his hit song "Dancing on the Ceiling" with Rascal Flatts at televised annual CMA awards show on November 9.

The "Tuskegee" album, due out in March 2012, will feature 13 duets of his biggest hits, including "My Love" with Kenny Chesney, "Easy" with Willie Nelson and "Hello" with Jennifer Nettles.

Richie said the album was a return to his country roots.

"I was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama. I am a country boy and proud of it. To do this project just felt natural," the singer-songwriter said in a statement.

Richie has earned five Grammys, an Oscar, and has had more than 20 top 10 hits in a career that started with Motown Records more than 40 years ago.

The "Tuskegee" album is the latest in a series of recordings that have teamed older artists with younger singers, including crooner Tony Bennett's recent chart-topping "Duets II" release which included collaborations with Lady Gaga and the late Amy Winehouse.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

 
<p>Singer Lionel Richie attends a promotional event for his upcoming "All Night Long in Hong Kong" concert in Hong Kong September 27, 2010. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu</p>