Oh, what a feeling. To owe the IRS a million bucks.

Seems like an unfortunate confluence of events for singer Lionel Richie, who’s currently celebrating the release of his new album, “Tuskegee,” by being slapped with a tax lien by the Internal Revenue Service.

The lien for $1,130,609 is against the singer’s 12,000-square-foot mansion in the Beverly Hills real estate market. According to TMZ, Richie might be worth an estimated $200 million, but he risks losing the home he bought for $6 million in 1999.

The Alabama native has come a long way since he soared to stardom by lending his melodic voice as frontman for the Commodores. And since he went solo in 1982, the artist racked up a series of Billboard hits that have become easy-listening classics. Over the years, Richie stuck by his Motown roots, even as the music industry embraced disco and rap. Richie calls his new series of duets with country & western artists on “Tuskegee” an embrace of his old-school style with a nod toward his South and his Alabama childhood.

When he isn’t singing to adoring fans around the world, Richie kicks back in his 1929 Italian Renaissance Revival mansion that boasts 6 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms. It was here that Richie’s adopted daughter, Nicole, was wed in a garden ceremony in December 2010.

Given Richie’s wealth and command of passionate signing, he’ll probably be able to stroke the check and tell the IRS to … sail on.


About the Author

Laura Vecsey is a former sports columnist, news reporter and politics writer and has worked for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Baltimore Sun, Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and Harrisburg Patriot-News. She was also a regional editor with She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

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