Ryan Seacrest Wishes ‘American Idol’ Judge and ‘National Treasure’ Lionel Richie a Happy Birthday

by Samantha Whidden

On Monday (June 20th), “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest wished judge and “national treasure” Lionel Richie a happy birthday in a special social media post. 

“Happy birthday to a true American treasure. Love you, Papa,” Ryan Seacrest declared in the post, which features a collage of snapshots featuring Seacrest and the “American Idol” judge. 

During his May 2021 appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Ryan Seacrest spoke about “American Idol” judge Lionel Richie and what the music icon brings to the TV show. “Lionel Richie is the greatest individual walking this planet. The man wakes up every day excited to be himself. He’s the nicest guy.”

Seacrest also revealed that the “American Idol” judge told him once that he gets himself psyched up every morning by wrapping himself in a towel, looking in the mirror, and saying, “You’re Lionel Richie.” 

‘American Idol’ Judge Lionel Richie Opens Up About His Rock Hall Induction 

While speaking to Rolling Stone last month, “American Idol” judge Lionel Richie revealed how he found out about his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Richie revealed that his manager was the one who shared the exciting news. “The first thing he said, ‘Ok, I’ve got some news for you,’” Richie recalled. “I thought, ‘This is the worst news I’m ever going to hear in my life. Who died?’ I took that road first. He goes, ‘You’re now an inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.’”

The “American Idol” judge also shared that he and his manager spent around 20 minutes celebrating the exciting news. “It was a screaming match. I went, ‘Can you believe it? Are you sure?’ And now I understand that he was crying because he was so happy.”

Also explaining why this is different from any other award he has ever won, Richie shared, “It’s a fraternity/sorority of hierarchies that defines the record business, the business that I’m in. The part that makes it so wonderful is that a lot of times your peers are voting for you to join this club.”

He then spoke about the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees class. “I love the class. I mean, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. What makes it so wonderful … Carly Simon is the only one I have not met out of this entire group. The real synergy in this is that it’s a great class since they are all legendary.”

Richie went on to add that Dolly Parton, another inductee, was his real inspiration in terms of when he first crossed over into country music. “Every other day, it was Kenny Roger and Dolly. Again, the family is all intact.”