Why Rob Zombie and Lionel Richie are teaming up. The rocker and R&B idol get together to collaborate on a duet

By Nicholas Fonseca
March 13, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

They’re the strangest of bedfellows, but kitsch-rocker Rob Zombie and ’80s R&B idol Lionel Richie recently recorded a duet of the Commodores’ ”Brick House,” the 1977 paean to pneumatic hotties. ”I love all of the music from [the ’70s], whether it was Black Sabbath or Captain & Tennille,” says Zombie. (Are you sure you want that in print, buddy?) The snazzy update — which will appear in his bloody directorial debut, ”House of 1000 Corpses,” hitting theaters in April — doesn’t forsake any of the modern-day wedding-reception staple’s playful elements, but there is one addition: Rap diva Trina recorded a ribald interlude at Richie’s suggestion. ”We knew we needed someone who was mean and nasty and dirty,” says Zombie. ”And that’s where Trina came in.” A la ‘Moulin Rouge”s sleazy rehash of ”Lady Marmalade,” Zombie plans to bring his ”House” to radio. ”There’s a freak-show element to it,” he explains. ”It is so ridiculous, and Lionel knows it too. It’s so wrong that it ends up being so right.”