The music legend, who recently topped the album charts after appearing at Glastonbury, reveals why he took a stand against rapper Kanye West for using the “n” word. He talks about growing up in Alabama against a background of racial segregation and his meteoric rise to jaw-dropping wealth after a string of massive hits. He also opens up about his two failed marriages and adopting daughter Nicole who he supported through drugs rehabilitation.
Lionel talks about when his first marriage broke down at the same time as his father’s death: “It was a train wreck and plane crash at the same time. It was, you can’t get hit anymore – it’s a bad Mike Tyson fight.” He continues, “And I got hit with all the punches.”
Lionel has achieved incredible wealth. Talking about rumours about his finances Lionel says: “The number that I like the most, which made me feel really good but I had to deny it, is that she (his second wife Diane, at the time of their divorce) is asking for $350-$400,000 a month, and I said that from one point “That is ridiculous” and on the other hand I said “Boy, that makes me look like I got a lot of money” but I kind of like how that sounds.”
Lionel talks about adopting his daughter Nicole and supporting her through drug rehabilitation. He says: There is not a day that I don’t send a text to her and I put down, “Proud of you.””
Also this series, Piers will be speaking to sporting hero Mo Farah, British actor and presenter Warwick Davies, Hollywood star Raquel Welch, outspoken Sex Pistol John Lydon and star of stage and screen Timothy West.