Lionel Richie sat down with ET’s Nischelle Turner on Wednesday and opened up about recovering from a torn meniscus and resuming his All the Hits tour with Mariah Carey.
“You go into denial and you are like, ‘Oh, OK, I am having a little knee problem, I will just do some more shows and work it out,” the 67-year-old singer said of his initial response to the injury. “In the old days if you got a little pain, you work it out. Well, the more I started doing shows, what I had was a torn meniscus and the guys said what you do with that is you have to stop, and I didn’t know how to stop.”
“I am programmed to run and so stopping meant I had to announce to pull the tour and I don’t cancel tours. I don’t cancel shows,” he added. “So I went through a series of withdrawals where they had to sit and talk to me and go, ‘Lionel, it is not the end of your career.’ But I feel great now, back to normal.”
Richie postponed the tour and underwent laparoscopic knee surgery in February.
The 22-city tour will now resume on June 22, and boarding Carey on the road is not difficult for Richie since the two have known each other for “years.”
“To be quite honest with you she is extremely — this may be a shocker — she is extremely respectful,” he shared, revealing that Carey refers him as “Mr Richie,” even though he insists to call him by his first name.
Richie hinted performing a duet with Carey but did not reveal any other tour secrets.
“I can’t reveal that,” the “Endless Love” singer said. “But I can tell you there is a strong rumor that something like that could happen.”
Another famous diva that fans are excited to see a duet with Richie is Adele. But dreams of a “Hello” mashup could take some time, due to the British singer’s hectic schedule.
“I know exactly what she is going through,” the music hitmaker said. “It is amazing when the green light comes on, there is a word that people want to use, it’s called ‘busy.’ She got really busy really fast!”