Lionel Richie 2011, photo credit - Attribution: Eva Rinaldi (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)

Music icon Lionel Richie takes the next step of his storied career on Monday, March 26, with the release of his highly anticipated new album, Tuskegee, which features 13 of his timeless hits performed as duets with country stars.

“Tuskegee is one of the most special albums I have ever done in my life,” he says. “It’s a moment in time when all of these artists got together and celebrated music.”

With this worldwide release comes several firsts for Richie, including his first Billboard cover, which is the March 24 issue that is on stands now, and his first performance at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, where he received rave reviews after taking the stage of the Billboard showcase on March 14. On Friday, he achieved another career first when he performed an hour-long live concert for HSN.

Richie will appear on the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS on April 1 (8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT).  Other appearances include Today, Late Show with David Letterman, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Talk.  On April 2, the Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions will tape an all-star concert special, ACM PRESENTS: Lionel Richie and Friends–In Concert, airing on CBS on April 13.

Tuskegee is an exciting new chapter in a career that has seen album sales of more than 100 million, 22 Top 10s, five Grammys, an Academy Award for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe, and a host of other awards.

On this worldwide, multi-genre album, Richie is also joined by the likes of such superstars as Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett.

“By far, this is probably the most fun ever because of the fact I did not have a clue as to what it was going to be from one session to the next,” he says. “What started out as a group of very talented, very successful collaborations with great artists ended up brand new, very good old friends. We’ve had so much fun. I learned more jokes.  I’ve gotten more jokes to tell.  I have jokes I can never say again.

“I’m so proud of the fact that this album has renewed my faith in mankind because this is what the business is supposed to be in the beginning, where you walk into a room and you can be you and I can be me and we can have some fun together.  Egos were left not at the door but never came in the room.

“Nine months later and beyond my wildest dreams, as far as creativity, something was finished that even blew me away.”



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