Lionel Richie returns to country roots

Oct. 27, 2011 at 6:44 PM
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NASHVILLE, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Singer Lionel Richie says he's returning to his country roots with his new album "Tuskegee" featuring duets with some of country music's leading stars.

The veteran R&B crooner will debut several songs from the upcoming album in an appearance at the upcoming Country Music Association Awards. The CMA said Richie will perform some of his classics with the help of Little Big Town, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts on the Nov. 9 show, which will air live on ABC.

It will not be his first appearance at the awards. In 1984 Richie performed "Lady" with Kenny Rogers, and in 1986 he performed "Deep River Woman" with Alabama.

"Twenty-five years is too long to wait and we are thrilled to have Lionel back on the CMA Awards stage performing alongside our superstar acts," CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore said in a release Thursday.

Richie, who was born and raised in Tuskegee, Ala., said he's a country boy at heart.

"Growing up with country, R&B, gospel, and classical music from my grandmother and pop, Tuskegee was the perfect melting pot for my influences as a writer," Richie said. "And the title, Tuskegee, is a validation of my growing up there -- the place I call home."

Blake Shelton, Jennifer Nettles, Shania Twain, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean are among the country music singers who appear on the album with Richie.

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