Lionel Richie completes Abu Dhabi Formula One After Race concert line-up

The RnB great will perform at Yas Island's Du Arena on November 26.
Lionel Richie will have fans dancing on the ceiling when he performs at this year's Abu Dhabi F1. Courtesy Wade Payne/Invision/AP
Lionel Richie will have fans dancing on the ceiling when he performs at this year's Abu Dhabi F1. Courtesy Wade Payne/Invision/AP

Lionel Richie is the last piece of the puzzle.

The RnB great is the final act announced as part of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix after-race concerts at Yas Island’s du Arena.

The All Night Long singer is booked to perform on November 26, a day after veteran dance duo Chemical Brothers and a day before the race-day concert featuring pop-queen Rihanna.

“I am so thrilled to be performing all the hits at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yasalam After Race concert on Saturday,” Richie said via video link. “You will see me performing live at the biggest sporting event in the Middle East. Along with the Chemical Borthers and Rihanna, this is gearing up to be one of the most incredible weekends ever. We are going to have a party all night long.”

Those who purchase tickets today from Yas Mall will be upgraded to the Golden Circle category for all three nights and get exclusive lounge access.

The concert will mark a return for the 67-year-old, whose last UAE performance was at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre in 2014.

As part of his All the Hits, All Night Long tour, a near 10,000 strong crowd sang along to nearly two dozens hits spanning his time with the funksters The Commodores in the 1970s and from his solo career. 

Before that affair, Richie was spotted in Dubai in 2012. After a private performance, he made a backstage appearance at the My Music X festival and mingled with headliner Akon.

Richie’s Abu Dhabi appearance is part of his latest career resurgence, which saw him draw the biggest audience at last year’s Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom.

Nearly 120,000 people braved the elements to see Richie perform as part of a bill that featured the likes of The Who, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.

Richie’s road to being honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame began modestly.

He was the saxophonist and pianist for the hardworking band the Commodores, set up by fellow college students at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute (now called Tuskegee University) in 1968.

The group tasted the spotlight when asked to tour with The Jackson 5, which led to the release of Machine Gun in 1974.

The single was well-received and Richie took on the lion’s share of writing duties, which resulted in hits such as Three Times A Lady and Still.

Richie split from the band in 1981 to launch his solo career, adding the now classic disco stomper Dancing On the Ceiling and the charity single We Are the World to his long list of chart-toppers.

In addition to his ongoing All The Hits’ World Tour, Richie signed a lucrative deal to perform 10 shows at The Axis at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. 

It is during a break in the mini residency that he will fly into the capital to keep the party going all night long.

“It’s going to be a giant singalong,” said Flash Entertainment chief executive John Lickrish. “He is a fantastic performer. Anyone can go to his show and everyone will know the songs and have a good time.”

Tickets packages are on sale now at ticketsyasmarinacircuit.com.

aahmed@thenational.ae

Published: September 20, 2016 04:00 AM

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