Lionel Richie’s Story About Adoption That Will Change Your Perception of Family

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Lionel Richie’s Story About Adoption That Will Change Your Perception of Family

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The family histories that surround each person are so particular that they could be likened to their fingerprint. And although in many cases these are shared only with people very close to them, for celebrities who get caught in the public eye, it can be difficult to keep them hidden. On the contrary, some prefer to tell them in order to inspire others who are going through similar situations.

Bright Side discovered the case of the singer Lionel Richie and his daughter, Nicole, who decided to share their family experience from the moment her adoption opened the doors to a very special father-daughter relationship.

Actor and singer Lionel Richie has cultivated a thriving career spanning more than 50 years, with worldwide musical hits such as “Endless Love” and “All Night Long”. But throughout his life, some of Lionel’s sweetest rewards have had to do with fatherhood. Today, he has three children: Nicole, Miles, and Sofia. The first to arrive home was Nicole, and she did so under particular circumstances.

Nicole and Lionel met at a Prince concert. She was only two years old, and she was on stage, accompanying the other musicians of the show with the tambourine. Richie was touched by the sight of the little girl, and was even more delighted when he met her backstage at the end of the concert. A few weeks later, when Lionel was visiting some musician friends, he met her again, and then learned that she was going through some hard times.

At the time, little Nicole’s biological parents, musician Peter Michael Escovedo and Karen Moss, assistant to Prince’s famous drummer Sheila E, had separated and were unable to spend most of their time with the child, due to their musical tours.

Also, her mother, who had been caring for her up to that point, was not financially able to support her. “If Nicole stayed there, Karen could earn enough for her future without having to disrupt her daughter’s life,” said Sheila E in an interview. So Lionel and his then-wife, Brenda Harvey, offered Nicole’s biological family to give her a place in their home while they settled their affairs.

Time went by and what began as something temporary, then led the Richie’s to make a definitive decision: they legally adopted the little girl, and she also took their last name. Thus began the paternity stage of Lionel, who confessed to his own daughter that she turned his world around: she touched his heart at a time when he was solely focused on his career.

Although Brenda and Lionel divorced some time after adopting Nicole, she continued to count on her father, because Lionel’s decision to adopt came with a promise on his part to the little girl: “I will never leave you.”

Not only did Nicole gain an unconditional father, but after a few years, she also welcomed two siblings. When Lionel remarried to dancer Diane Alexander, they brought their son Miles into the world, and later their daughter, Sofia. The three siblings have always enjoyed a close relationship and are often seen sharing moments together, alongside their dad, for whom fatherhood is “the best job he’s ever had.”

Today, when Lionel has even welcomed two grandchildren by his first daughter, he says he feels that “Nicole was a godsend. She was a little girl who needed a chance. She looked at me, and I’d say, ’I’m not going anywhere.’”

What do you think is the best way for a family with adopted children to let them know about their origin?



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