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It's easy for Lionel.

Byline: ANUJI VARMA

HE'S one of the greatest Motown artists that has ever lived and Lionel Richie's two-hour extravaganza at the NEC last night proved exactly why.

With the energy of a 21 year-old rather than his 59 years, Mr Richie performed hit after hit, without any sign of tiredness.

And moments before he bounded onto the no-frills stage, my friend and I had been treated to a private audience with the superstar - who was as humble and gracious as one would expect.

Those qualities certainly transferred onto the stage and when he appeared for the first time, there was no dramatic lighting, or music, he simply walked on to a deafening applause.

The crowd were just happy to see him again. The crooner launched into Easy and the audience couldn't help but sing along with his pitch-perfect vocals and LIONEL LG skilled piano playing.

Grandad Lionel gave the audience everything they could possibly ask for. And that included all the older hits.

After nearly 90 minutes the crowd knew what was coming when he told them: "Well, you can either dance on the floor..." Of course, it was the legendary 80s' tune Dancing on The Ceiling. It was the song that finished the first part of the concert as Lionel said his goodbyes.

After five minutes of foot stomping, Lionel reappeared in a freshly-ironed pair of skin-tight trousers, and new shirt.

Then he launched into the final part of the show and didn't disappoint - ending it with the fabulous All Night Long.

ANUJI VARMA
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 5, 2009
Words:255
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