Number One this Week in 1984: Lionel Richie’s Hello

lionel-richie-hello-1984Every time a Lionel Richie song went to the top of the charts in 1984 it was a victory for the Average Joe. Now don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing average about Richie’s talent. He’s a brilliant song writer who has created some of the most indelible pop songs of our generation, both with the Commodores and as a solo artist. But place Richie alongside Boy George, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Cameo or David Lee Roth and it’s remarkable that the relatively mild mannered pop star didn’t get lost amidst the flash of his fellow music artists.

Ok – so Richie may not have had the moves of Prince, the mystique of Cameo, the quirky affability of Cyndi Lauper, the cool of Hall & Oates, or the sex appeal of Duran Duran. But he did have an album full of perfect pop songs –  including “Hello,” – which went to number one on both the R&B and Pop charts in May 1984. “Hello” also produced one of greatest music videos of the 1980s.

Following the video check out the 6 greatest things about Lionel Richie’s “Hello”.

This post is in response to the Daily Posts’s – Writing Challenge.

6. Lionel Richie’s Acting. Before the song starts Richie busts out some serious acting chops. He is quite convincing as an obsessed drama teacher. James Lipton eat your heart out!

Hello Hallway

5. Sweet Song, Creepy Plot: Lionel plays a drama coach who is also stalking one of his students. Ballet class? He’s there. Lunch break? He’s there! Drama Class? Well, sure he’s there because he’s the drama teacher – but still! Does this community college of the visual and performing arts perform background checks on their teachers?

4. Michael Peters Cameo! The great choreographer appears as Lionel Richie’s love interest’s dance instructor. Peters was the absolute best. In addition to Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield” he also choreographed the dance numbers in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” and “Thriller” videos (discussed here). These are pop culture gifts! All hail Michael Peters!

Laura Carrington


3. The Blind Student. Was there anyone prettier than Laura Carrington? Oh man, why wasn’t she a bigger star?



2. The Call is coming from inside the house! Int, Night, Dark House: “A Blind woman steps out of shower, she’s alone in the the house and then . . . the phone rings!!!” Is this a horror movie or a music video? OR BOTH?!?!

And the number one greatest thing about Lionel Richie’s “Hello” . . .

#1 Lionel Richie’s Head: This final reveal causes me to ask many questions. First of all – I’m assuming she’s never touched Lionel until now  – so how did she know what his face (kind of) looked like? Mutant power? Also – I wonder if this sculpture made real life Lionel Richie hate himself? Finally, where can I find this mold and how much of my life savings must I spend to buy it?

10 thoughts on “Number One this Week in 1984: Lionel Richie’s Hello

    1. Sean Post author

      Thanks Hugh! I agree – it doesn’t get more 80’s than Lionel! He recently did an album of country cover duets of his hits – and its actually pretty good!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. innatejames

    You might have hit the nail on the head, Sean. Maybe this video was intended to up the edge factor a little on Lionel. As I recall, soon after this he’s gained the superpower of dancing on ceilings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Movie Justice

      Hmmm, interesting. 🙂 Good point that such a mild mannered fellow sky rockets among the talent of Boy George, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, David Lee Roth THAT IS remarkable!!!! 🙂 Agreed, great post. I don’t think the creepy movie no one has heard of catapulted Richie. He was famous and liked in the industry so getting a song to play on the radio wasn’t so tough for Richie. His song just struck a cord with the world. It popped!!! Richie has the “It” factor, voice, lyrics, and friendly, good looks. I bet the sculpture is with a collector of pop muses 🙂 Love Lionel Richie–even his name is fun! Like King Richard The Lionhearted!!!!

      Liked by 1 person


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