Lionel Richie and plastic surgery

Hello, All Night Long, Three Times a Lady, Easy…all the signature Lionel Richie hits the world can’t ever forget. To the younger generation, Richie is the cute TV judge on American Idol, but his fame runs deeper than that. 

Lionel Richie is a legendary 70s and 80s star not just for his impressive vocals but for his smashing looks too. But, more than 30 years since he rose to fame, Richie doesn’t seem to have aged at all!

While we don’t mind the eye candy, we can’t help but wonder: did Lionel Richie have plastic surgery?

If you are curious about the same thing, read on for the low-down on Richie’s youthful looks and possible plastic surgery.

The Truth About Lionel Richie Plastic Surgery

The famous singer and TV judge is well into his 70s but this wrinkle-free face is something to behold. We do not need to emphasize the fact that a 70-year-old would naturally have very visible lines and loose skin here and there. Not that there is something wrong with that – some of the best looking women are in their 70s!

That Lionel is without any fine lines or has very few visible ones is surprising. Looking at his before and after photos over the years, it is pretty clear that the celebrity has had some work done to maintain his youthful looks. 

SMARTZONE Lionel Richie Encore Rare Hot New Wall Art Home Decor - Water Resistant Poster (Size: 20" x 30")

Richie’s cosmetic procedures have not gone unnoticed among fans. Randy Baumann of the DVE Morning Show said in a tweet that the TV judge’s plastic surgery made him look like he was in full makeup for a regional production of Cats. 

The host of the Jack 96.9 morning show said Lionel Richie’s plastic surgeon should be shot, saying that the Penny Lover singer looked like he had 3rd-degree burns. 

Elsewhere, Dan Katz, the host of the Pardon My Take podcast, commented on Richie’s looks, saying that he had so much plastic surgery he could barely show any emotion on his face.

Although Lionel has never admitted to having plastic surgery, there is no hiding his changing facial appearance over the years. Let us look at some possible work done on the singer.

Did Lionel Richie Get Botox?

If you look at Richie’s pictures in his 20s and 30s, he had more natural lines, as would be expected of someone his age. Ironically, in more recent pictures where he is in his 50s and 60s, his face looks wrinkle-free. 

The saying that ‘Black don’t crack’ may hold some truth, but still, aging brings with it natural changes to your looks, including sagging skin and wrinkles. So, you cannot have fine lines when you were younger and not have them as you age!

The fact that Lionel looks younger than he did more than 40 years ago points to regular cosmetic enhancements and Botox injections on his face.

Lionel Richie Facelift

Another question that comes up is whether Lionel Richie had a facelift. Well, if he gets Botox, then he certainly does get a facelift every now and then. 

When you compare his before and after pictures, you will notice that his skin appears stretched out and tight. His cheeks and forehead also show signs of a lift. Most of his upper face is also lifted, resulting in an unnaturally smooth face for his age, much like the singer of the Goo Goo Dolls.

Lionel Richie Poster 18" X 24" - Lionel Richie Print

Lionel Richie’s Hair Transplant 

Aside from his smooth voice, one of Lionel’s most attractive features is his dark, lush, and curly afro hair. In his younger days, he sported a large afro and a mustache, which became his signature look.

That said, it is expected that his hair would naturally thin out with age. In fact, looking at his before and after photos, Lionel’s hairline was receding at some point, but he caught the loss of hair issue early.

So, did Lionel have a hair transplantation procedure, or is his lush hairline a product of genetics? Looking at his facial hair now and then, it seems like he fixed the early signs of hair loss before anyone could notice! Now in his 70s, his hairline looks as lush and healthy as it did in his 20s and 30s. 

Other male celebrities use similar techniques to keep their hair looking young. Take a look at some of these examples.

The Truth About Lionel Richie’s Nose Job

Lionel has a flat-ish wide-set nose. Nothing too distinct– just a nice normal nose. Looking at his photos over the years, it seems like the singer’s nose hasn’t changed much. 

By the look of things, we don’t smell a rat as far as Lionel’s nose is concerned. Rumors about him doing rhinoplasty, aka a nose job, may be unfounded.

Lionel Richie Plastic Surgery: Then and Now

Now that we have identified some possible procedures Lionel Richie has had, let’s look at a year-by-year comparison of the singer’s looks. 

1960s: Early Day of Fame with the Commodores 

The Definitive Collection

Lionel first came to fame as part of the Commodores, a Motown musical group where he was a vital figure as a lead vocalist. He spotted a large afro and mustache, which would make him stand out from the group.

The Commodores members and Lionel looked their age. In these early days of fame, the famous singer had natural lines on his face, his usual wide-set nose, and a great hairline to boot. So, has Lionel Richie had plastic surgery? Well, to answer this question we’d have to scrutinize his looks over the years. Let’s jump in!

1980s: Going Solo 

Lionel Richie [LP]

Lionel Richie launched a solo career in the 1980s and was extremely successful. He transitioned from a patted-down afro curly hairstyle to keeping longer locks, which was the ‘it’ look those days. 

He also began wearing a thicker mustache, which gave him a more manly look. He has always been a well-dressed man with a clean and classy style, often spotting a collared shirt and cardigan.

1990s: Settling Down

Richie still maintained his fame in the 1990s. It was also during this period that he divorced his first wife and married his second wife, Diane Alexander, with whom he went on to have two children, Miles and Sofia Richie.

Lionel maintained his sharp looks, only replacing his legendary afro and mustache with a short, clean-cut hairstyle and a circular beard.

There were no signs of plastic surgery up until this point.

Lionel Richie Surgery Woes

Although Lionel Richie had not had any known plastic surgery at this point, he had actually undergone several agonizing throat surgeries.

Speaking to People Magazine in 2022, the Hello crooner revealed that in the 1990s, he underwent four throat surgeries to rectify a mysterious condition that had affected his voice.

He described the experience as being as close as he’d ever come to a nervous breakdown. “I never really thought it would end,” he said of the nervousness he experienced at the time.

2000: First Attempt At Botox?

The world hadn’t heard from the ‘Easy’ singer for quite some time until he made a comeback in the early 2000s with his Renaissance album. 

But fans couldn’t help but notice that the handsome singer looked different on the cover of his new album.

Chances are good that this was the first time Lionel got some work done on his face. His skin appeared tighter and puffier, pointing to possible fillers. He also seemed to have lighter skin, causing speculation that he may have tried bleaching.

2006: Aging in Reverse 

In 2006, Lionel dropped another album, which went on to be a massive success, proof that he is still one of the most celebrated singers in the world.

Aside from his impressive singing skills, you couldn’t help but notice that he looked ridiculously young on the album cover. He was well into his late 50s, but he looked like a 30-year-old chap with this wrinkle-free face. 

2014: Legend of Live with Legendary Skin

In 2014, the Billboard Awards named Lionel Richie a “Legend of Live” for his impressive music career. 

What is also legendary about Lionel is his skin, which doesn’t seem to age at all. In his 60s, he still looked unnaturally young for his age. Sure, he displayed some wrinkles and necklines, but his skin appeared tight and his cheeks and forehead lifted.

Lionel Richie signed 8x10 photo

His short, curly hairstyle remains the same with an ever-lush hairline. In place of the thick mustache, Lionel now spots a small beard under his lower lip.

2018: Too Much Botox?

As Lionel approached his 70s, his face began looking strangely puffy. In many of his pictures, you can notice a bump on his forehead, signs of a facelift gone bad.

His cheeks are also lifted to keep them from sagging with age. At this point, fans are already noticing that the TV judge’s bloated face is starting to look unnatural. That’s a point where Mickey Rourke should have stopped but didn’t.

2020: Too Good To Be True 

Looking at Lionel’s Instagram pictures, you would be forgiven if you thought the guy was in his 30s or pushing 40s. He looks amazingly good in his close-cropped, dyed hair and classy outfits. His face is also extremely smooth with no ounce of wrinkle despite him turning 71 years.

The only thing that may have given away his real age is his neckline and sagging neck skin, which was pretty much visible when he came back as a judge for the 2021 season of The American Idol show. 

Looking at Lionel Richie’s photos over the years, there is a strong possibility the ‘Three Times a Lady’ singer has undergone some cosmetic surgery and procedures. It is doubtful that his eternally youthful looks are a result of genetics.