June 28, 2015 / 7:55 PM / 4 years ago

Lionel Ritchie makes legend spot his own at Glastonbury

GLASTONBURY, England (Reuters) - Lionel Ritchie led a 100,000-strong karaoke session on Sunday as Glastonbury festival-goers sang along to a string of hits including “Easy Like Sunday Morning” and “Dancing on the Ceiling”.

Lionel Richie performs on the Pyramid stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

The former Commodores singer deployed his charisma to full effect in the Sunday afternoon slot filled by Dolly Parton a year ago, affecting mock horror at the enthusiastic participation of the audience and saying the enormous crowd was “out of control”.

Ritchie, aged 66, only had to sing half of the lyrics to “Hello” as the audience filled in the gaps, while “All Night Long” turned a muddy field in southwest England into a carnival.

“It was pure entertainment,” said Lauren Lindsay, who had perfected her Ritchie moves at a festival newspaper-organized “flash mob” dedicated to the star a few days earlier.

U.S. singer and songwriter Patti Smith preceded Ritchie on the Pyramid Stage, some 40 years after the release of her ground-breaking punk rock album “Horses”.

She was joined onstage by the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader, who she said inspired with “all his love of humanity”.

The Dalai Lama received his second rendition of “Happy Birthday” to mark his 80 birthday next month.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I really appreciate so many people’s expression of warmth,” he said.

Before and after the Dalai Lama’s interlude, Smith’s anger and passion burned as brightly as ever in a show that included “Beneath the Southern Cross” and ended with “My Generation” by Sunday night’s headliners, The Who.

The Glastonbury Festival draws to a close on Sunday after three days of music, performing arts and good-natured mayhem attended by 177,000 revelers.

Michael Eavis, the 79-year old farmer and organizer of the event that started 45 years ago, said he’d been on stage with the Moody Blues on Saturday.

“It’s been another amazing year,” he said.

Editing by Digby Lidstone

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