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LIONEL RICHIE SIGNS LONGTERM RECORDING CONTRACT WITH POLYGRAM

 LIONEL RICHIE SIGNS LONGTERM RECORDING CONTRACT WITH POLYGRAM
 LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Lionel Richie, one of pop music's most dominant creative forces, has signed a long-term, multi- album worldwide recording contract with PolyGram's Mercury Records following the expiration of his agreement with Motown. The new contract begins with Richie's next recording.
 Richie is a versatile, multi-talented artist who writes, sings, plays and produces his songs. His audience is multi-generational and his songs are staples at a variety of radio formats including CHR, urban and adult contemporary. He has written songs which are considered classics including "Three Times A Lady", "Still", "Easy", and "Sail On". He also co-wrote "We Are The World".
 Originally a member of the '70s supergroup, The Commodores, Richie's songwriting talent propelled them twice to the top of the American singles chart with "Three Times a Lady" and "Still". He began his solo career in 1981 and by 1986 he had penned and recorded American number one singles for nine consecutive years including "Endless Love", "All Night Long" and "Say You, Say Me". His three solo albums, "Lionel Richie" (1982), "Can't Slow Down" (1983), and "Dancing on the Ceiling" (1986), have sold a total of 25 million copies worldwide.
 Richie's latest album, the retrospective "Back to Front", has sold nearly three million units to date worldwide and has reached number one on the album charts in Australia, Ireland, France, Holland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the U.K. PolyGram (NYSE: PLG) is responsible for the marketing and distribution of this album under its worldwide distribution and license agreement with Motown which it signed last year.
 Commenting on Richie's new agreement with PolyGram, his manager, Freddy DeMann, said: "Lionel is extremely grateful to Motown for the years of support he received and looks forward to a wonderfully energetic, highly-charged relationship with Mercury and PolyGram.
 "Having recently played to full houses in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris, London, and New York, Lionel is very excited about going back into the studio to work on a new record," he continued.
 Under the new contract, PolyGram will release Richie's repertoire on its Mercury label in North America and on its Polydor label in the rest of the world. Polydor has already been responsible for marketing Richie's "Back to Front" album outside North America through PolyGram's license deal with Motown.
 Said PolyGram's President and Chief Executive Officer, Alain Levy: "Lionel's extraordinary songwriting and performing talents make him one of the world's premier entertainers. We are thrilled that he has chosen to join PolyGram and that he does so with guidance and full blessing of Motown's President and CEO, Jheryl Busby."
 Ed Eckstine, president of Mercury Records in New York, said: "Lionel is one of America's most gifted artists and is truly a worldwide superstar. I've been an acquaintance and a fan since his days with the Commodores. This is a great day for PolyGram, and an extremely exciting signing for Mercury Records. We are proud to attract an artist of Lionel's stature and we look forward to a long, fruitful relationship."
 Motown's Jheryl Busby added: "Lionel Richie is an extremely talented singer/songwriter and someone I consider a good friend. He has been an integral part of Motown Records for many years and we at Motown wish him much success in his new endeavor with PolyGram. Lionel will continue to be part of the Motown family through the sale of his catalogue."
 One of the world's leading record companies, PolyGram's roster of top recording artists includes Bryan Adams, U2, Elton John, Bon Jovi and Luciano Pavarotti. Its world famous popular and classical record labels include A&M, Decca/London, Deutsche Gammophon, Island, Mercury, Philips Classics, Polydor and Vertigo. The company is listed on the Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges.
 -0- 8/19/92
 /CONTACT: Dawn Bridges, vice president of corporate communications of PolyGram Holding Inc. in New York, 212-333-8357, or Amanda Whitwell, corporate communications of PolyGram International Ltd., London 71-493-8800/
 (PLG) CO: PolyGram ST: California IN: ENT SU: CON


LD-AH -- NY001 -- 1228 08/19/92 09:15 EDT
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Date:Aug 19, 1992
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