Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. has been writing, recording, and performing hit songs for six decades.
Maybe someone told you about that guy who used to be in a huge funk and soul band called the Commodores, or you’ve heard a cut from a Lionel Richie solo album.
More recently, he’s been an expert judge and a mentor for hopeful contestants on the American Idol reboot. Whatever you may have heard of Lionel Richie, there’s no doubt he’s a music legend with many great tunes.
Lucky for anyone like you getting married, Lionel Richie has also given us plenty of memorable wedding songs to select. It was fun picking out our 12 favorite Lionel Richie wedding songs, and we know you’ll enjoy this too!
Lionel Richie released his hit “My Love” in 1982, and while the soft piano intro with violins might sound like just another wedding song, “My Love” has taken on a life of its own in many ways.
Late great country superstar Kenny Rogers was a close friend of Richie’s, and they often performed “My Love” together. Kenny Rogers also recorded the song, and his version topped the charts.
In 2012, Richie released a bestselling album called Tuskegee that put a country spin on his amazing songs like “My Love,” with today’s country superstars sharing the vocals. It’s a masterpiece and perfect for your wedding playlist.
When to play: the original version of “My Love” has been a first dance choice for decades. But if you’d like to be serenaded, this cover version is your inspo, and here’s the countryfied duet between Richie and the fantastic Kenny Chesney!
Richie leads with the piano again in the romantic intro to “Truly,” and it never fails to make us sigh. His diction is fantastic, and he brings tremendous feelings to his lyrics.
We also adore the Tuskegee version and this live performance of “Truly” by Lady Antebellum. So you have a goldmine of possibilities to have this gorgeous song on your wedding playlist.
When to play: while it’s an obvious (and an excellent choice) for your wedding song, we’d also bawl happy tears if this was played instrumentally as a bride’s ceremony processional.
Richie’s original recording of “Endless Love” was a #1 hit duet recorded with Motown legend Diana Ross for an early 80s movie of the same name. The film was panned by critics and faded away, but “Endless Love” lives on as music!
Luther Vandross was an R&B legend with one of the smoothest yet most potent voices ever. He recorded a version of the song with mega-superstar Mariah Carey, an unforgettable first dance choice in a ballroom setting.
When to play: you’ve got two excellent choices with the above-noted singers and versions of “Endless Love,” We also love Richie’s performance with Shania Twain off Tuskegee for a rustic wedding ceremony recessional.
The notable thing about “You Are” is that Richie wrote the song with his then-wife, Brenda Harvey Richie. Click on the song title to watch the 80s video because it will definitely make you chuckle!
Although their love didn’t last, the upbeat, romantic lyrics and melody always make us happy. “You Are” was also included on Tuskegee, and we absolutely love the version with Richie and Blake Shelton.
When to play: check out the Tuskegee version of “You Are” because we can hear this in our heads as a perfect ceremony recessional at a rustic wedding!
Say You Say Me
Richie wrote “Say You Say Me” for the soundtrack of a 1985 movie, and it won the Oscar for best song in a motion picture that year.
On the album Tuskegee, Richie reworked the song as a duet with Jason Aldean, and of course, it sounds fantastic!
When to play: we love this instrumental version of “Say You Say Me” as wedding ceremony music, either a bride’s processional or background music for the singing of the registry (after you’ve said your vows!).
Just for You
“Just for You” is the title track off the album of the same name, released much later in Richie’s career (2004). The song was also redone on Tuskegee, this time as a duet with country artist Billy Currington.
When to play: it’s an upbeat melody with heartfelt lyrics and would work well if you’re doing a video presentation to honor loved ones during your reception.
“Lady” has—and will always be—classic wedding music since Richie wrote the song for Kenny Rogers, and it became a huge hit (it’s still on the list of top Billboard songs ever). The melody is swoon-worthy, with lyrics straight from a fairytale!
Grab your tissues and expect goosebumps when you hear and see how people use this gorgeous song at their weddings. Here’s a groom serenading his bride, a couple practicing their first dance choreography, and a wedding video with the song as a backdrop.
When to play: when wouldn’t you want to put “Lady” on your wedding playlist? It’s your choice!
Dancing on the Ceiling
The title track off Richie’s third solo album, “Dancing on the Ceiling,” was a huge 80s hit. The video is also fun to watch, especially with all the retro fashions and when Richie looks like he’s really dancing on the ceiling!
When to play: the original version is an excellent fast song for your reception playlist, but we recommend the Tuskegee version of “Dancing on the Ceiling” that Richie does with Rascal Flatts because it’s a rocking country tune for your rustic wedding reception!
Three Times a Lady
This song goes back to Richie’s time with the Commodores, and “Three Times a Lady” has a special meaning for the singer-songwriter.
Richie said he wrote the song after hearing his father praise his mother at a party for their wedding anniversary. He also dedicated the lyrics to wives and moms for all they do to hold a family together (we agree with Lionel that ladies rule!).
When to play: it’s a beautiful song to share with your parents and grandparents during a family dance at your wedding reception.
Here’s another track from Lionel Richie and the Commodores, released in 1975! Lionel sings lead on “Sweet Love,” and the group provides tight background harmonies in the chorus that sounds lovely.
When to play: this would be an excellent addition to your beach or destination wedding playlist, and check out the YouTube acoustic covers out there because it’s ideal for a singer on guitar.
I Call It Love
After a string of successful albums, Richie quit music for over a decade. Thankfully he didn’t stay gone for good!
In 2006, the album Coming Home was released, and “I Call It Love” became another Lionel Richie favorite. We love the instruments and beat of this song, and many fans agree that it belongs on a wedding playlist.
When to play: it would be great to hear this song slowed down instrumentally as a beach wedding processional, followed by the entire cut with lyrics as your ceremony recessional!
Stuck on You
We love “Stuck on You” because the vocals, rhythm, and arrangement are such a beautiful blend of old country and soul. Lionel Richie sings with such heart and emotion!
When to play: add “Stuck on You” to your wedding reception playlist as a lovely slow dance, and check out this instrumental version because it would make a great bride’s entrance!