Lionel Richie has unearthed a nugget from the early part of his career with the Commodores.
In an interview on Watch What Happens Live, host Andy Cohen asked the singer to name the “first big actor-artist” to help the band gain exposure.
Lionel said it was Debbie Reynolds, the Golden Age star of Singin’ In The Rain and the mother of Carrie Fisher. The presenter could barely contain his surprise.
Lionel recalled: “When we came into town she was the one who said, ‘Oh, my God, you guys are fabulous, I’m gonna show you around to all the people,’ and she took me by the hand and just took me to meet everyone. She was such a sweetheart.”
The Commodores cranked out 1970s hits such as Three Times a Lady and Easy, and Lionel moved on to solo fame with All Night Long (All Night) and Say You, Say Me in the ’80s.
The latter earned him an Oscar in 1986 for Best Original Song in the movie “White Nights.” And he received his Academy Award from Debbie.
“How ironic is that? How about that?” the American Idol judge said.
Here’s Lionel getting his Oscar from Debbie and her Singin’ In The Rain co-stars Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor: