Lionel Richie

11/19/2005 - Beverly Hills - Lionel Richie at the Diamond Jubile

Richie in 2005, photo by Starfrenzy/

Birth Name: Lionel Brockman Richie

Place of Birth: Tuskegee, Alabama, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 20, 1949

Ethnicity: African-American, small amounts of English, Scottish, and French-Canadian

Lionel Richie is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. He was previously a member of the band The Commodores.

Lionel is the son of Alberta R. (Foster) and Lionel/Lyonel Brockman Richie. His adopted daughter is fashion designer and television personality Nicole Richie, with his former wife, Brenda Harvey. He has two biological children, including model Sofia Richie, with his former wife, Diane Alexander.

Lionel is of mainly African-American descent. One of his great-great-grandfathers, Morgan Brown, was white, of English, Scottish, and French-Canadian descent.

Lionel’s paternal grandfather was named Charles A./E. Richie (the son of Henry Richie and Georgia Anna). Charles was born in Alabama.

Lionel’s paternal grandmother was named Ida J. Garfield. Ida was born in Alabama.

Lionel’s maternal grandfather was named Albert Davidson Foster (the son of George Foster and Betsey). Albert was born in Georgia.

Lionel’s maternal grandmother was Adelaide M. Brown (the daughter of John Louis Brown and Volenderver Towson). Adelaide was born in Tennessee. John was the National leader and co-founder of “The Knights of the Wise Men”, a fraternal organization for black men in the post-Civil War period; John was the son of a white slave owner, Morgan Williams Brown, of English and Scottish descent, and of Mariah, who was a slave. Volenderver was the daughter of Sam Towson and Matilda.

"To Protect and Serve" an Evening of Entertainment and Inspiration - Arrivals

Richie with wife Diane in 2002, photo by Prphotos

Sources: Information about Lionel’s appearance on Who Do You Think You Are?, 2011 –

Genealogy of Lionel Richie –

Lionel’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Lionel’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Lionel’s maternal great-grandfather, John Louis Brown –

4 Responses

  1. dinosaur01 says:

    that —- ——— also have cherokee native american ancestry

  2. andrew says:

    infos about Lionel’s appearence on the show “Who do you think you are?”:

  3. Multiethnicchick says:

    Looks very mixed race

  4. cdonorab says:

    Correction. He also has some French as well. One of the woman who married an ancestor of the Morgan Brown’s they talked about in who do you think you are was a descendant of zacharie cloutier making him a distant cousin of Madonna.

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