Lionel Richie Age & Height: How Old & Tall Is He?

AMERICAN IDOL - ABC's "American Idol" judge Lionel Richie. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Lionel Richie is one of the most decorated and best-selling artists of all time. He achieved worldwide fame as both a member of the Commodores and a solo artist, and has won a Golden Globe and four Grammy Awards throughout his career. He currently serves as a host on American Idol.

Given how active he remains, some fans be surprised to learn that Richie is 69 years old. He was born Lionel Brockman Richie Jr. on June 20, 1949, and helped form the soul group the Commodores when he was 19. The group released their debut album in 1974, and would go on to become one of the premiere musical acts of the decade.

Richie Is 69 Years Old & Has Been Making Music for 50 Years

Richie put out his self-titled debut album when he was 33, and would go on to score five number one hits as a solo artist during the 1980s. His most recent album, Tuskegee, came out when he was 63. It was his best-selling album since 1989, and was certified platinum by the RIAA. In a recent Variety interview, Richie spoke about his lasting popularity and how he’s managed to stay relevant after decades in the spotlight.

“I use Frank Sinatra as a perfect example. He went through the hippies, tie dye, protest songs and the Bob Dylans, and at the end of his life, he was still Frank Sinatra,” he said. “He didn’t have to change his style for his legacy to be cemented. So if the songs stick around — people were engaged and married to my songs — luckily, and I say that with the greatest amount of humility, it stuck.”

He Released His First Album As a Solo Artist When He Was 33 Years Old

“People actually use these songs now as a part of their daily lives. And it’s like fabric,” he continued. “I have never been hip in my entire career. I’ve always been popular. And that’s what I’ve been striving for. Back in the day, the Commodores were not the hippest; it was Earth Wind & Fire, it was Ohio Players. And then when I had my solo career, it was Michael Jackson, Prince and George Michael. If you think about the tortoise and the hare, I’m the tortoise.”

CelebHeights says that Richie is 5’11”. This makes him noticeably taller that most of his 1980s peers, including Jackson, who was 5’9″, and Prince, who was 5’2″. Richie is also taller than fellow American Idol judge Katy Perry, who is only 5’7″. That said, he is slightly shorter than Luke Bryan, who stands at 6’0″.

Richie Is 5’11” Which Makes His Taller Than ‘American Idol’ Judge Katy Perry & Shorter Than Luke Bryan

During an interview with Forbes, the singer discussed his routine for staying healthy while on tour, and how he’s managed to stay so active. “Besides getting great sleep, great food and lots of water, the other thing people on tour will say more times than anything else is, ‘I need a doctor’,” he said.

“The reason for that is because there’s always altitude changes, issues like dehydration, or even food poisoning,” he added. “There’s a number of things that happen on the road that isn’t predictable and the problem you don’t want to risk the idea that there’s no convenient way to see a doctor.”