In honor of 2014 ESSENCE Festival headliner Lionel Richie, we're taking a trip down memory lane—bellbottoms, afros, jheri curls and all! From Richie's musical beginnings with the Commodores to his stellar solo career and epic duet with Diana Ross, we've compiled his 13 best music moments on camera.
Dressed in sparkly blue matching outfits, The Commodores have an old-fashion jam session on this episode of Soul Train. The group performed "Machine Gun" from their 1974 funk album of the same name.
It's another hot number for the stellar group! "Fancy Dancer" was the group's first hit of 1977.
Filled with funk and soul, this 1977 classic from their self-titled album peaked at number five on the Hot 100. Check out their funky performance.
"Three Times a Lady"
This hugely popular ballad was inspired by Lionel Richie's father's endearing comments to his mother at Thanksgiving, the pop star revealed in a 2009 interview. Watch the group perform it on Burt Sugarman's The Midnight Special.
Billed as the greatest duet of all time by Billboard, the classic hit with Diana Ross was released in 1981 and quickly shot to the top of the charts. It spent nine weeks at the top of the Hot 100. "Endless Love" was also nominated for an Oscar.
Quintessential '80s music at its best! Lionel Richie plays a high school teacher who falls in love with his blind student.
"All Night Long"
What a dance party! Lionel Richie and his leading lady show the world how it's done in this 1983 video. Plus, leather pants never look so good!
"Say You, Say Me"
This mega hit was written for the film, White Nights, starring Gregory Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It went to win an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 1985.
"Dancing on the Ceiling"
The second single from Richie's 1986 album of the same title went on to be another smash hit for the pop star.
This darling 1985 video will surely melt your heart. "Ballerina Girl" was a single from Richie's Dancing on the Ceiling album.
"Do It To Me"
Named as one of three new songs from Richie's first compilation album, Back to Front (1992), received decent success.
"Angel" was lifted from Richie's 2000 album, Renaissance. Check out the legendary singer searches for his love in the futuristic video.
"To a Love Woman" Ft. Enrique Iglesias
One of many duets for Richie, "To a Love Woman" was the last single to be released off Enrique Iglesias's 2001 album, Escape.