Wednesday, 04 August 2021

Californian welcome for Lionel Richie at Festival

Lionel Richie wowed crowds at the second night of the Henley Festival

Lionel Richie wowed crowds at the second night of the Henley Festival.

The star, wearing an all-black outfit, came on to stage to rapturous applause at about 9pm and opened his set with the his Eighties hit Running With The Night.

The show was delayed by 15 minutes after one of the trains bringing visitors to Henley earlier in the evening was cancelled. Thousands of people watched Richie's performance from the lawn and grandstand, with more crowding around outside or on boats on the river.

The 66-year-old performed songs from his 47-year career, including Commodores hits and tracks from his solo albums.

Richie told the crowd: "How did it take me so long to find Henley? Fabulous crowd, fabulous place and fabulous weather.

"This is southern California right here, it can't be Henley!

"I feel like I'm cutting out half my audience because the other half are sat on boats behind me. Can you hear me back there?"

Richie ended his set with some of his best known hits, including Dancing on the Ceiling and Hello. He told the men of the audience: "It's my job to warm them up and it's your job to take them home!"

There were screams from the crowd when he did an encore of All Night Long. He then donned a white jacket as he brought out the Henley children's choir to accompany him on a rendition of We Are the World, written with Michael Jackson.

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