Perhaps you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but give him a solid backing band and guest appearances from the biggest stars in Nashville, and he might put out an album as good as Tuskegee, Lionel Richie’s recent country duets collection. Nearly 20 years after first gesturing towards the genre with 1984’s “Stuck on You,” Richie goes all the way with it on Tuskegee, even reworking “Endless Love” with Shania Twain singing the female lead. At tonight’s spring gala, Richie will be inducted into the Apollo Theater’s Hall of Fame, perhaps bringing some of his new pals along for the ride. Etta James joins him in the Class of 2012, receiving the honor posthumously and joining a group that includes Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, and Patti LaBelle.
Mon., June 4, 7 p.m., 2012
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 23, 2012