Lionel Richie Jokes That His "Job Is to Embarrass" His 3 Kids as Much as He Can

Lionel Richie isn't just a music legend with an iconic decades-long career, he's also a proud dad of three to daughters Nicole and Sofia and son Miles Richie. Over the years, the singer-songwriter has been candid about fatherhood and the struggles of raising three kids, especially in the spotlight, but he's always made time to be there for them.

In 2019, Lionel told People of his parenting style, "I'm a tough dad, but what I realize in life is that you have to approach it with a tad bit of humor." "With my kids, I know their job is to completely scare me to death. And they're doing a great job, by the way," he added with a laugh. "I told this to Nicole the other day, my job is to embarrass them as much as I could, as long as I'm here. They're trying to do the same to me, so I think it's an equal swap right now."

Lionel's kids are just as supportive of him when it comes time to celebrate his accomplishments. In addition to accompanying their father at red carpet events and award shows, Nicole, Sofia, and Miles also showed up for Lionel at his foot and handprint ceremony outside the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles in 2018. While there, Lionel told Entertainment Tonight, "To have them here? [All] I've heard all day was, 'Dad, we're so proud of you! Dad, we're so proud of you!' You know, that means everything to a parent."

Moreover, while accepting his icon award at the 2022 American Music Awards, Lionel took the time to thank his three kids, as well as their mothers "for keeping my kids together." Lionel shares his oldest child with ex-wife Brenda Harvey and his only son and youngest daughter with second wife Diane Alexander. He's currently dating his longtime girlfriend Lisa Parigi.

Read ahead for more about Lionel's trio and to see some of their family photos over the years.

Nicole Richie
Getty | Jean Baptiste Lacroix

Nicole Richie

Lionel and ex-wife Harvey took in Nicole (born on Sept. 21, 1981) when she was a toddler. According to People, the former TV personality's parents were friends of Lionel's who couldn't afford to take care of her financially, so the musician and his then-wife officially adopted her when she was 9 years old.

"Nicole was actually a godsend," Lionel previously told People of adopting his oldest daughter. "She was a little girl who needed a shot. She was used to people coming and going. She looked at me and I'd say, 'I'm not going anywhere.'" The singer added that he and Harvey "didn't agree on a lot of things, but we did agree on [Nicole]."

Nicole, who famously appeared in reality TV series "The Simple Life" with Paris Hilton from 2005 to 2007, has been candid about the controversies she's found herself in previously — including arrests, car accidents, and a struggle with substance abuse. In 2006, she told Vanity Fair that she "liked the fact that my parents weren't speaking" at that time "because I could play them against each other." "Their way of making me happy was to say yes to everything I wanted," she added, "but I don't think a little girl should have that much freedom."

She later turned to her parents for help with her drug addiction, a time Lionel later recalled having to "survive." "Forget about surviving 40 years in the music business. Just surviving 27 years of Nicole Richie has been a struggle-and-a-half," he said during the 2008 TV Land Awards (via CBS News). "I stand here as a survivor, I want you to know, for all the parents out there."

However, today, Lionel and Nicole are in a much better place. While on "The Drew Barrymore Show" in March 2023, Lionel said of raising Nicole, "If I lived through that. I can live through anything." He also added that his oldest, now a wife and mother of two, has since "turned out perfectly."

Miles Richie
Getty | David M. Benett

Miles Richie

Miles, born on May 27, 1994, is Lionel's one and only son with ex-wife Alexander. Per People, the fashion model's parents divorced in 2003 when he was just 9 years old. In 2018, Miles told ET Canada that he's "a mama's boy," as he mainly grew up living with his mom.

Miles is both a musician and a model. In 2018, he made his runway debut during New York Fashion Week. In 2020, he told Essence that he grew up being shy so pursuing modeling was a challenge for him. However, at the time, he said his mom and dad "keep pushing me forward every single day, and every day I'm determined to be better." Miles also admitted to the publication that, initially, he didn't want to "follow the trend" of his famous family. "I want people to like me for me, rather than like me for who my family is."

Sofia Richie
Getty | Michael Kovac

Sofia Richie

Sofia, who was born on Aug. 24, 1998, in Los Angeles, is Lionel's youngest child with ex Alexander. Like her adopted sister, Sofia has accompanied her dad to several Hollywood events over the years, making her first red carpet appearance at the 2008 ASCAP Pop Music Awards when she 10. She also followed in her famous father's footsteps and pursued singing at one point, though these days she appears to be focused on the beauty space as the beauty director of Nudestix.

Back in 2018, Sofia opened up to the Sydney Morning Herald about getting music lessons as a kid and the pressures that came with being an iconic singer's daughter. "My dad had me in singing lessons from a really young age and I've played piano with my dad growing up, so I have that part of me," she said, adding that her father "is a really respected soul singer and I feel like that is a lot of responsibility to take it on. I'd have to do it 100 percent and I'm not ready to do that."

She continued, "I don't want people to think I am trying to burn down my dad's hard work . . . I have to try and find my own way . . . I can also never get away from the fact that my dad is Lionel Richie."

It doesn't seem as though Lionel is anything less than proud of his youngest. He couldn't help but brag about her during her wedding with music executive Elliot Grainge on April 22, 2023. In a TikTok posted on Sofia's page, Lionel can be heard excitedly saying, "That's my kid," as he walked her down the aisle. Afterward, during an interview with Extra on April 25, Lionel said of escorting Sofia on her big day, "It was a moment where, yes, I was letting her go, but I was also gaining a family. The family is getting huge right about now, but we are happy."

More Photos of Lionel Richie's Kids
Getty | Christopher Polk/ACMA2012

More Photos of Lionel Richie's Kids