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Lionel Richie says Hello to the Stadthalle

By Rachael Williams

On the European leg of his extensive "Tuskegee" tour Lionel Richie is set to blow the roof off Vienna's Stadthalle on 22 November.

The US soul singer's prolific career has spanned almost half a century and at 63, he is still touring, packing out concert venues worldwide and showing no sign of tiring.

Richie started out as the lead singer, saxophonist and song writer to the highly successful Motown group "The Commodores" where ballads such as "Three Times a Lady, "Brick House" and "Easy" secured the group their place in pop history.

During this time, Richie wrote songs for such artists as Kenny Rogers and he also worked on a number of collaborations with other artists; one of his most famous being the duet with Diana Ross "Endless Love".

He made his debut as a solo artist in 1982 when he released the album "Lionel Richie" and 30 years on he is still writing new material and touring the globe to perform. To date, he has sold almost 100 million albums, had countless top-ten hits worldwide and won an Oscar for the song "Say You, Say Me" which he wrote and recorded for the film "White Nights".

His most recent album "Tuskegee" is a country-style reworking of 13 of his most famous hits, including "Hello", "All Night Long" and "Dancing on the Ceiling". Country stars Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers and Tim McGraw, to name but a few, feature on the album.

Named after his home town in Alabama, the album pays homage to Richie's roots and his family's passion for music of all genres. "I was raised by the whole village" said Richie in one interview, but behind this close-knit African -American community was a terrible injustice.

Between 1932 and 1972  the US Public Service conducted what has been called the most infamous biomedical research study in US history. Poor, rural black men were used to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis. Though 399 of the 600 participants had already contracted the disease, others were infected with the disease in order to be monitored. The men were never told that they had syphilis, nor were they treated for it.

Richie's "Tuskegee" sold more albums in its first week than any of his other albums and it has also topped the US album chart.

To find out more about Lionel Richie including tour information and news see the official Lionel Richie website at www.lionelrichie.com.

A limited number of tickets for "Tuskegee" on 22 November at 7:30pm are still available and can be purchased online at http://www.stadthalle.com/events/Lionel-Richie/6518 or from the Stadthalle Ticket Service on +43 / 1 / 98 100 - 200 (Mon-Sat 10am to 8pm).

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