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Lionel Richie pairs up with a boy band

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Teens may not remember Lionel Richie hits like ”Say You, Say Me,” but with the summer release of his new album, Renaissance, the ex-Commodore may yet score with hormone-addled adolescents. None other than the Backstreet Boys will accompany Richie on ”Cinderella,” a Latin-flavored love song from his album. ”This is in that fine tradition of ‘What the hell are you doing, Lionel?”’ quips the Motown hitmaker, who met the Boys last fall when they turned up at a Bremen, Germany, gig and asked if they could perform ”Easy” with him on stage. ”The crowd went berserk,” Richie recalls. ”I thought if the chemistry is working this well, let’s take it to a record.” Even if the song doesn’t ignite a full-blown Richie resurgence, it’s made him a hero in his own house. ”My son is 5. He missed ‘We Are the World,’ and my Commodore days, so the only thing he’s seen me do is Backstreet Boys. Believe me, Daddy can do no wrong at this point.”

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