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Lionel Richie Preps Country Duets Album

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

He’s written some massive country hits for other artists; now Lionel Richie is going country himself.

In the 1980s, Richie established himself as one of pop music’s most successful balladeers with the debut of his 1982, self-titled album that sold over 4 million copies. Since then, he’s sold more than 100 million records, solo or as a group member of The Commodores. Come this summer, CMT reports that the composer of Kenny Rogers‘ 1980 No. 1 hit, ‘Lady’ will establish himself on country turf, with the release of his album of country duets with an illustrious bevy of country stars.

According to producer Tony Brown, the velvet-voiced singer has so far completed duets with Darius Rucker (‘Stuck on You’), Tim McGraw (‘Sail On’), Kenny Rogers (‘Lady’), Willie Nelson (‘Easy’), Little Big Town (‘Deep River Woman’), Blake Shelton (‘You Are’), and Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band (‘All Night Long’). Yet to be recorded are duets with Sugarland‘s Jennifer Nettles and the Zac Brown Band.

“We’re having a blast,” says Brown. “Lionel is the coolest fun guy, and he’s blown away by the musicians here.”

Brown anticipates a summer release for the album.

Lionel’s last studio album was ‘Just Go’ in 2009. In March, he heads to the land down under to tour Australia and New Zealand through April with Australian pop, R&B and soul singer-songwriter, Guy Sebastian.

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