How Prince Brought Father and Daughter Lionel Richie and Nicole Together

Photo by Alan Silfen/Getty Images

Father and daughter Lionel and Nicole Richie reminisce over the Prince concert that brought them together. The pair interviewed each other for HuffPost’s series “Talk to Me,” where the legendary singer shares what led him to adopt daughter Nicole.
“We discovered you,” Lionel tells Nicole. “We went to all things, a Prince concert. The discovery was not the show for Prince,” said Lionel. “The discovery was, ‘there’s a two-year old on stage with Prince playing a tambourine.'”

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Nicole, perhaps the youngest member of Prince’s band that night, and Lionel met backstage after Prince’s show. It was later when they met again weeks later that Lionel realized Nicole’s difficult family situation.
“I think we decided that… what we’ll do to kind of give you some stability was we’ll be legal guardians, but nothing more,” Lionel explains.
This eventually led to Lionel and his wife, Brenda, adopting Nicole. By this time, the singer was at the height of his career, which required him to leave for weeks to months at a time.

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“I remember you had abandonment issues for obvious reasons. You’d been handed around to every relative in the family,” he recalls. “I remember what I said to you. I said, ‘I’m never, ever going to leave you.’”
Lionel attributes his softened heart to Nicole’s role in his life. “Everything up to that point was about songwriting and the business and touring,” he said. “All of a sudden I found something that I could actually fall in love with that was never going to leave me.”
Watch their touching interview here.

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