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02/06/2015 09:33 BST | Updated 02/06/2015 09:59 BST

Lionel Richie, Headliner At Glastonbury And Henley Festival, Reveals Pressure To 'Make Love To Every Woman' Turned Him To Drugs

Lionel Richie has revealed that he set out to "make love to every girl in the world" when he first started touring - but the pressure of so much female attention eventually turned him to drugs.

The veteran showman, billed to headline at both Glastonbury and Henley Festivals this summer, tells GQ Magazine that he and his fellow Commodores were set on conquering hearts in a hundred shows in a hundred cities, and making love to every girl in the world became their mission statement.

lionel richie

Lionel Richie admits his mission to make love to every girl in the world was stopped in its tracks

Now 65 and twice-divorced, the singer admits he kept score of the thousands of women he slept with during this period, up to three a day, but that the pressure to keep up the numbers eventually turned him to drugs.

He tells GQ: "We all kept score, yeah. We were college guys, so we liked stats. And when you start out, it's madness: there's one in the morning, one in the afternoon, one in the evening. It's great. You're killing it. But all of a sudden you get to the fifth show and you're, like: Everybody get out of my room! You can't do it. I don't care whether you're 19 and sexually possessed - you can't do that and put on high-heeled boots and run across the stage every night.

lionel richie

Lionel Richie has sold more than 100 million records during his four decades of performing

"That's why drugs became so inviting: because you get a hit of this, and it gives you the stamina. But how long does it last? And then you're in rehab, and what kind of b******t is that? Or you're falling down on stage and passing out halfway through the show."

As with all things, the fun faded for Lionel, he says, when he got his first phone call telling him he could have inadvertently fathered a child.

He remembers: "It wasn't the sex and it wasn't the drugs. It was... babies. Holy s**t! The first time you get that phone call when someone says... hey, guess what? That's called fear, shock and awe. That's when I realised the gun was loaded, you know what I'm saying?"

Lionel is among the headliners for this year's Glastonbury festival - click here for more info - and Henley Festival - click here for more info.

Photo galleryLionel Richie See Gallery

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