An American Dream Research Papers Examples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Song, Band, Education, Students, Marriage, Success, Life, College

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2021/01/06

“Ain’t no mountain high enough,

ain’t no valley low enough,
ain’t no river wild enough,
The lyrics stated above is from the song Ain’t no Mountain High Enough by Lionel Richie. The full song could have been pertained to a guy’s love for a woman, but it could also be how Lionel Richie’s career can be described. No mountain high enough for his songs not to be known, nor river wild enough for his songs not to survived. Many singers become instantly very popular, but after few months, go gone with the wind. But there are singers who stay standing such as Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and John Lennon just to name a few and Richie is almost getting there. Anywhere you go when old songs play, you’ll never miss to hear one of his songs like Hello, Stuck on you, and All Night Long. No throwback day passes by without the inclusion of even one of his songs.
Before he became who he is now, he was just a normal kid. He was born on June 20, 1949, in Tuskegee Alabama, from a family of a military, his father Lionel Richie Sr., and an English teacher, his mother Adelaide Richie. Lionel lived with strict guidance. He has a younger sister, Deborah, who has the same heart as of her mother and pursued teaching.
During his high school days in Joliet Township High School, East Campus, Lionel was a star tennis player. That is why he entered college in Tuskegee Institute under a scholarship program but eventually dropped out on his sophomore years. It was said that there was a time in his life that he considered to be a priest, but good thing about that he realized earlier that he is not a priest material, which can be proved by his actions and choices in the latter years of his life.
One day when he was in college, while he was walking across the campus while carrying his saxophone, he was approached by some members of a band name The Mystics and asked if he can play his instrument. Since he knew couple of notes he exclaimed yes with all his might. He eventually became band mates with Ronald La Pread (bass player and trumpeter), Milan Williams (trombonist and rhythm guitarist), William “WAK” King (rhythm guitarist and synthesizer player), Thomas McClary (lead guitarist), and Walter Orange (lead vocalist and drummer) and became the saxophonist and pianist. From The Mystics, the name of the group was changed to The ‘Jays, then The Commodes, a name they did not officially publicized until they changed it to The Commodores.
Despite the challenge of non-acceptance he had with his parents, Lionel still decided to leave Tuskegee to perform and see the world, with the dream in of being successful in his heart. It was when he followed his band mate to kiss a girl shouting his name in their performance in New York when he first tasted stardom, wanting for more. And it was when Skip Miller, Vice president of the Motown Records, discovered Lionel and the band perform in one club when they had a start in a larger scale of music industry.
During the time they were discovered, R&B and soul acts were much respected. Some of the popular names include Smoky Robinson, The Temptations, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and The Jackson 5 in which The Commodores played with in tours. The opening of their international career was when they played the opening act for The Jackson 5. When they released their first single Machine Gun in 1974, it landed No. 7 in the US R&B chart. Several of their singles became popular as well, Brick House, Easy Night, Three Times a Lady and Slippery When Wet to mention some.
Then one day during one of his conversations with Marvin Gaye, who was very popular that time, after knowing that the guy did not graduate from any music schoo,l Lionel felt empowered and started thinking on why does he not write songs, which he eventually did and to where the whole band benefited from. Some of his songs for the band were “Easy.”, “Lady”, “Still”, “Stuck On You”, and “Three Times A Lady”.
After being together in the band for few years, in 1981, Lionel decided to go solo. During this time, he started to become popular as one of the most successful balladeers. Thirteen of his songs always get into the Top 10 from 1981-1987; nine of those were on top 1. He received several awards, Oscars, Golden Globe and platinum record for his album. He also collaborated with Michael Jackson in writing the undying song We Are The World.
In October 1975, during the earlier years of his success together with his band, Lionel married his college sweetheart, Brenda Harvey. On 1983, they informally adopted Nicole Camille Escovedo who was a daughter off one of the members of the band. They raised Nicole like their own child. Along with Lionel’s steady success was his shaky personal life. While he was still together with his wife Harvey, Lionel started seeing his friend Diane Alexander, who later on he married. Upon knowing what happened, Harvey, attacked the two seeing couples in a Beverly Hills Hotel. Even though it was Lionel who was caught seeing a woman, it was Harvey who was sued since she attacked them both. They eventually got divorced. He then married Alexander and had two children with her, Miles Brockman and Sofia. However, their marriage did not last long. Richie and Alexander divorced on January 2004.
Lionel has proven the world that he can be a good singer despite all odds. His career was called by many an ‘American dream’ - being born in a small community, going to college, being discovered accidentally, leaving your family to follow your passion and being successful at the end. His songs has been relevant to not just is own generations but even to the new generations. His songs did not stop from being his; it also evolved to becoming became songs of other artists. But even so people still acknowledges that it was his song to begin with. Hearing songs not just in radios but as covers of movies just prove that his songs have story within it. Story that can and represents something. Although most of it the songs were love songs, it was his voice that gives life to his each and every song.

Works Cited

Famous Fix. Ain’t no Mountain High Enough. Web. Retrieved from <>. Last accessed 2015.
Richie, Lionel. Biography. (n.d.). Web. Retrieved from <>. Last accessed 2015.
Bet. D-Day: The Ugliest Celebrity Divorces. Web. Retrieved from <!043012-celebs-divorces-lionel-richie-brenda-harvey>. Last accessed 2015.

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An American Dream Research Papers Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Jan 06, 2021. Accessed November 30, 2022.

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