Lionel Richie is Goin' Country...really

Pop and soul music legend Lionel Richie is goin' country. Really.

The Mississippi native has regularly and effectively touched on country before, such as on the Commodores hit "Sail On," his solo hit "Stuck On You" and the later duet he sang with Alabama, "Deep River Woman." But his upcoming March 2012 album, Tuskegee (named after his college town), will be the first time he has dedicated an entire album to the genre.

Tuskegee will reportedly feature Richie remaking past solo and Commodores hits in duets with country stars like Willie Nelson, Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland) and Kenny Chesney.

Pop and soul music legend Lionel Richie is goin' country. Really.

The Mississippi native has regularly and effectively touched on country before, such as on the Commodores hit "Sail On," his solo hit "Stuck On You" and the later duet he sang with Alabama, "Deep River Woman." But his upcoming March 2012 album, Tuskegee (named after his college town), will be the first time he has dedicated an entire album to the genre.

Tuskegee will reportedly feature Richie remaking past solo and Commodores hits in duets with country stars like Willie Nelson, Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland) and Kenny Chesney.

It isn't the move to country alone that has us worried (we kinda like some country). Call us cynical, but Tuskegee combines three of the most annoying trends being used today by aging pop singers: Star duets, remakes and switching genres to either country or jazz. And the recent number #1 ranking of Tony Bennett's Duets II album will probably breathe unfortunate new life into this trend.

We're hope we're wrong about this just being a Lionel cash-in, but the combination of gimmicks involved makes us suspicious about what we're gonna get.  Could be Lionel's Soul Bossa Nostra.

 

Here's a look back at Richie's 1986 country duet with the group Alabama, "Deep River Woman"...

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