*As part of The Huffington Post’s video series Talk To Me, Nicole Richie interviews her dad Lionel Richie about a number of topics, including how he came to adopt her upon making an important “discovery” during a Prince concert.
“The discovery was not the show for Prince,” Lionel said. “The discovery was: there’s a 2-year-old on stage with Prince playing a tambourine.”
That tambourine player was of course Nicole, and Lionel was already aware that the child’s biological “family situation was falling apart.” After meeting her backstage, he wanted to help.
“I think we decided that … what we’ll do to kind of give you some stability was we’ll be like legal guardians, but nothing more,” he said.
That eventually led to Lionel and his then-wife, Brenda Harvey Richie, adopting Nicole. At the time, Richie was at one of the heights of his career and explained to Nicole that he would be away for weeks and sometimes months at a time for work, but would always come back.
“I remember you had abandonment issues for obvious reasons. You’d been handed around to every relative in the family,” he said. “I remember what I said to you. I said, ‘I’m never, ever going to leave you.’”
That was a promise he made to Nicole, and soon Lionel realized, in the midst of touring and songwriting, that he ended up getting the same thing in return.
“I think you…changed my life a great deal in terms of softening my heart, because everything up to that point was about songwriting and the business and touring,” he said. “All of a sudden I found something that I could actually fall in love with that was never going to leave me. How about that?”
Click here to watch their interview.