New American Idol judge Lionel Richie loves hanging out with hopefuls who make it past their auditions, because the magic moments bring back happy memories of his own career start.
The soul legend, country star Luke Bryan and Katy Perry are hoping to find the next Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood on the revamped talent show, and Lionel admits he can’t help but get invested in the stories of wannabes who come to sing for him, because they remind him of the time he proved to his dad he could be a successful singer.
“I keep flashing back to when I had this afro on my head and my mum and dad wanted to have a doctor or a lawyer in the family,” he tells WENN. “I announced we (former band The Commodores) were gonna be the black Beatles and take over the world!
“My dad said, ‘Idiot!’ Of course, five years later he was singing my praises.
“When we let these families through on the show (Idol) they break through the door and embrace their kid and I start tearing (up) because I know that day I got that hit record and my dad walked into the room and said, ‘You did this. Yeah, man!'”