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Lionel Richie got help from unlikely Hollywood legend early on

Lionel Richie unearthed Thursday a nugget of the beginning of his career with the Commodores. (Watch the video below.)

In an interview on “Watch What Happens Live,” host Andy Cohen asked the singer to name the “first great actor-artist” to help the group gain exposure.

Richie said it was Debbie Reynolds, the star of the golden age of “Singin ‘in the Rain” and mother of Carrie Fisher. Cohen could barely contain his surprise.

Richie remembers, “When we got to town she was the one who said, ‘Oh, my God, you’re fabulous, I’m going to show you everyone’, and she took me by the hand and said. just took me to meet everyone. She was so darling.

The Commodores produced 1970s hits such as “Three Times a Lady” and “Easy”, and Richie rose to solo fame with “All Night Long (All Night)” and “Say You, Say Me” in the 80s.

The latter won him an Oscar in 1986 for the best original song from the film “White Nights”. And he received his Oscar from Reynolds.

“How ironic is that? And that? declared the judge “American Idol”.

Here’s Richie receiving his Oscar from Reynolds and his “Singin ‘in the Rain” co-stars Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor:

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