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Instagram.com/nicolerichie - Getty Images
Source: Instagram.com/nicolerichie - Getty Images

Lional Richie Was 'Extremely Happy' to Be a Granddad Yet Panicked When He Heard His Daughter Was Pregnant

Olawale Ogunjimi
Jul 30, 2022
03:00 A.M.
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Lionel Richie’s fatherhood journey saw him raise three amazing children. Yet, becoming granddad caught him off-guard, forcing the star to adopt new parenting measures.

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Aside from his reputation as a successful musician, Lionel Richie is a successful father to his three children. His journey to fatherhood started when he welcomed his first daughter Nicole into his life through adoption when she was 9.

The “American Idol” judge was married to his first wife, Brenda Harvey, at the time. Richie has described his first daughter as a godsend, given the timing of her arrival.

Lionel Richie performs in concert at Etess Arena, Hard Rock Atlantic City on June 24, 2022 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. | Source: Getty Images

Lionel Richie performs in concert at Etess Arena, Hard Rock Atlantic City on June 24, 2022 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. | Source: Getty Images

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Sadly, Nicole’s adoptive parents divorced in 1993. Richie welcomed his son Miles with Diane Alexander, whom he married in 1996, a year after their son”s birth. The couple also shares a daughter, Sofia, who joined the family in 1998, six years before their split.

Despite his divorce from the mothers of his three kids, the singer remained close to all his kids, who are all grown up and forging their own paths in life.

Nicole Camille Richie, his eldest daughter, is now 40 and has somewhat followed her parent’s showbiz footsteps. However, unlike her dad, Nicole has excelled in the reality TV sphere, with shows like “The Simple Life” and “Candidly Nicole” under her belts.

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 American singer, songwriter, musician, and television personality Lionel Richie and girlfriend Diane Alexander pose for a portrait circa July, 1993 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

American singer, songwriter, musician, and television personality Lionel Richie and girlfriend Diane Alexander pose for a portrait circa July, 1993 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

The actress also runs her fashion line called House of Harlow, which she launched in 2008, tried her hands-on production, and has authored a book. Now married, she shares two kids with her husband, Joel Madden.

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Miles Brockman Richie, the singer’s first son, grew up to become a model, with famous stars like Kylie Jenner making up his friend circle. Miles made his runway debut in 2018 at Philipp Plein’s show during the New York Fashion Week.

Lionel Richie’s youngest daughter Sofia Richie is also a model and influencer, with famous brands like Michael Kors and Adidas gracing her resume.

TV personality Nicole Richie, singer Lionel Richie, Sofia Richie, Miles Brockman Richie and Diane Alexander attend the Lionel Richie and Friends in Concert presented by ACM held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 2, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

TV personality Nicole Richie, singer Lionel Richie, Sofia Richie, Miles Brockman Richie and Diane Alexander attend the Lionel Richie and Friends in Concert presented by ACM held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 2, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Source: Getty Images

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Her successful modeling career has seen Sofia walk the runway at New York Fashion Week, collaborating with her sister’s clothing collection, and grace the covers of iconic magazines. She also has an impressive star-studded dating history, with the likes of Justin Bieber, Scott Disick, and Elliot Grainge making the list.

Richie is undoubtedly a proud father, with his kids making headway in their respective careers. He has openly referred to his children as his biggest accomplishments and often jokes that all one needed to define and fulfill them were “two girls and a boy.”

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In another instance, the star reflected on the changes he experienced since becoming a dad, admitting kids “turned him into his parents,” referring to how much he’s evolved. Gushing about his children in an Instagram post, the dad of three said:

“I’ve been blessed to accomplish a lot in my life. But three of the best accomplishments are right here. Love you all. #HappyFathersDay to all the dads out here!”

He accompanied the caption with a photo of himself and his three children posing in matching tracksuits. Although Lionel Richie undoubtedly relishes fatherhood, he dreaded the idea of becoming a grandfather for the longest time.

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RICHIE’S FEARS OF BECOMING A GRANDDAD

 Lionel Richie performs during the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on April 29, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. | Source: Getty Images

Lionel Richie performs during the 2022 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on April 29, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. | Source: Getty Images

Lionel Richie has been open about his initial fears of becoming a grandfather. He had to live out these fears in 2007 when his oldest daughter Nicole was first rumored to be pregnant. According to the singer, he was not ready to become a grandpa at the time, as he feared the impact of the status on his career. He once shared:

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“I don’t know if I’m going to be a grandpa. I don’t know if I’m ready to be called a grandpa.”

The icon’s reservations stemmed from fears that welcoming a grandchild would ruin his career, which he believed largely depended on fans’ perception of him as a heartthrob. Hence, the last thing he wanted was to put himself in a situation that would reduce his sex appeal to fans.

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After learning of his daughter’s pregnancy, Richie became convinced that his music career was over for real after more than 30 years in the industry. He reflected:

“I went through a panic – that’s the end of my career.”

 Nicole Richie and Harlow Madden are seen on February 09, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Nicole Richie and Harlow Madden are seen on February 09, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Less than a year later, Nicole welcomed her first child with Joel Madden. The family received the news in good faith, including Richie, who was admittedly happy for his daughter. Notwithstanding, he admitted it’d take some time to get accustomed to the grandfather role.

Sure enough, he overcame that fear, eventually accepting the responsibility that came with his grandfather's status. Richie went on to welcome one more grandchild from his daughter. He now spends time playing with his two grandchildren and has fun doing it.

RICHIE’S LIFE AS A GRANDFATHER

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Aside from loving his new role, Lionel Riche has also gotten accustomed to the word “grandfather.” Nowadays, he can’t have enough of gushing about his grandkids, including Nicole’s son Harlow and daughter Sparrow.

Notably, the music legend toyed with the idea of being referred to as G-Pa for a while to avoid feeling too old. However, despite getting his daughter’s go-ahead, he thought better of it after seeing the kids enthusiastically refer to him as “pop pop” as they grew older.

He has since settled for the latter. In turn, he calls them “mice people” and admittedly adores his two grandchildren so much that his heart melts whenever they “walk through the door.”

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Interestingly, being a doting grandad who adored his kids, Richie was willing to go through miles for them, even breaking some of his daughter’s rules.

His tendency to indulge the little ones has caused the innocent kids to rat him out occasionally. Once, he recalled how his daughter always probed the kids to find out if he gave them treats. He tried convincing Harlow to accept some candies from him, but the boy politely declined and went off to tell his mom, Nicole.

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Notwithstanding, Richie enjoys doting on the duo. He once revealed that the best part about being a grandad was getting to play with the youngsters and returning them to their parents. He revealed:

“It’s probably the wildest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life because I get to play with the kids. I know what’s going to happen and then when it does happen, I give them back to Nicole and Joel. What a great thing!”

Having experienced the joys of grandparenthood firsthand, Richie finds himself resonating better with his parents’ experiences. More specifically, he understands the joy they both felt when he began having his own kids several decades ago.

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