Lionel Richie Reveals New Career Path

Lionel Richie

Heavy/Getty "American Idol' judge Lionel Richie in May 2023

Music legend Lionel Richie may have sold 125 million records worldwide, but the 74-year-old singer-songwriter is always looking for his next project and passion — even if it’s outside of the music world. And lately, the “American Idol” judge has revealed, he’s found success diving into the world of fragrances.

Richie’s first fragrance, launched in 2019, was a resounding success — not only with fans but among experts in the field. When “Hello,” named after his 1984 hit song of the same name, earned a nomination in the Fragrance of the Year: Popular category from the Fragrance Foundation, the recognition served as a signal to Richie he had found a new career path.

In an interview with People published on July 19, 2023, Richie said he’s taken the job seriously and spent a great deal of time and energy figuring out his newest fragrance, “Easy Like Sunday Morning,” named after the hit song he wrote and sang with the Commodores.

“It’s like with the music business,” he said of the process. “You want to know what that mood is for a song three seconds into it. That’s what fragrance has to do as well. When you put this on, it has to make you feel the way you want to feel about yourself.”

Lionel Richie Launches New Fragrance on HSN

Richie’s new fragrance, “Easy Like Sunday Morning,” which he launched on HSN on July 18, is packaged as a set that features a 3.4 ounce bottle of the Eau de Parfume and a travel-sized rollerball tube with .34 ounces of the scent. The set is currently on sale for $49.95, versus the regular price of $79.

During his HSN appearance, he said learning that his first fragrance was one of the top five sellers of the year was equivalent to hearing the Commodores had their first chart-topping song.

“There’s no better feeling than your first,” he said.

Richie has long loved working in the gardens at his Los Angeles and Alabama homes, calling himself a “hopeless horticulturist” with People. But that passion combined with his songwriting skills may have actually helped him become skilled at finding the perfect combination of scents to create different fragrances.

He told People, “I’m a songwriter, and what I didn’t realize was in music, there’s only 12 notes. In the fragrance world, there’s 90 billion combinations you can put together. And then that’s when I became a complete Gemini. Because if you give a Gemini too many choices, I almost drove myself crazy, but I was also in heaven. I mean, once I realized the adjustments I could make, that made me really satisfied. It’s the perfect creation.”

“Easy Like Sunday Morning” has notes of strawberry, grapefruit and almond blossom, which Richie said gives the fragrance a laid-back but “upbeat” and “uplifting” vibe. He also wanted it to be a fragrance that either gender can wear.

He believes the new scent gives off the vibe that “I’m really not trying to impress the room, I’m just trying to make sure I go to my peace,” he said. “I tell people every day, ‘If you can be easy like Sunday morning on a Thursday afternoon, you’re doing really great.’ Because a lot of times you’re overwhelmed. I’ve been that way many times where you’ve got so many people in your face and you cannot get away. But if I have this fragrance, it’s kind of sending me in that direction. It reminds me of where my center is.”

Why Lionel Richie Treasures Sunday Mornings So Much

Lionel Richie

GettyLionel Richie performs during the Coronation Concert in England on May 7, 2023

The name of Richie’s new fragrance and hit song has deep meaning for the four-time Grammy winner. Since he is always on the go, he told People that he treasures and protects his Sunday morning routine because it grounds him.

“There’s not a lot of movement, I’ll tell you that,” Richie said of what his Sundays look like. “It’s really probably the most relaxed part of my whole week, because I make it a point to stroll the garden. And I do my zen work, which for me is, there’s a lot of hedges in my backyard and somebody needs to tend to that hedge right over there. So I carry my clippers with me in my little case, and I clip that little limb that needs to be clipped and that little branch needs to be clipped.”

“So much of my (other) days are about charging other people, giving,” he continued. “Sunday is that moment when I can talk to me. Because what you get in my world is, what is that one line? ‘If I were you, I would do this, Lionel.’ And you have to remember, OK, you’re not me. So me and God, we walk in the garden. And I just make sure that we’re on the same page before Monday morning comes.”

Richie has been on tour in Europe and will soon kick off a 50-date U.S. tour with Earth, Wind & Fire. Though he hasn’t confirmed officially whether he’ll return to “American Idol” for a fifth season, the 2022 Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductee, he has said previously he never plans to retire.

In May, he told Billboard, “People have asked me when am I going to retire, and I’ve said from what? I’ve never had a job in my life,” he said. “This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had, at this stage of my life, only because I know what I’m talking about. I’ve done everything.”

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