Lionel Richie to perform duets from new country album at 2011 CMA Awards
Grammy-winning singer Lionel Richie is returning to his country roots.
The 62-year-old singer and songwriter is set to debut songs from his new country duets album, "Tuskegee," during the upcoming 2011 CMA Awards, organizers said on Wednesday. The telecast is set to air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on the ABC network on November 9 at 8 p.m. ET.
Richie will perform several tracks from his new record, which is due to be released in March 2012, with the country groups Rascal Flatts and Little Big Town as well as with Darius Rucker of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish.
Richie, known more for pop ballads and R&b songs, last performed at the CMA Awards in 1986. "Tuskegee" is named after Richie's hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama, and features 13 duets of his past greatest hits, such as "Dancing On The Ceiling" with Rascal Flatts, "Stuck On You" with Rucker, "My Love" with Kenny Chesney and "Easy" with Willie Nelson.
The album also features a new version of his famous 1981 duet with Diana Ross, "Endless Love," with Shania Twain singing in her place.
"As my songwriting progressed, I realized that my songs perfectly translated to the country genre," Richie said in a statement put out by CMA Award organizers and obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I was born and raised in Tuskegee, Alabama. I am a country boy and proud of it. To do this project just felt natural."
"Growing up with Country, R&B, gospel, and classical music from my grandmother and pop, Tuskegee was the perfect melting pot for my influences as a writer," he added. "The title, 'Tuskegee,' is a validation of my growing up there-the place I call home. Tuskegee is a state of mind as it is a place - a place of possibility, hope, promise, self-empowerment, and where dreams come true."
Richie last released a major record in 2009 - "Just Go," his ninth studio album. The singer's music has made the country charts in the past.
Check out a full list of nominations for the 2011 CMA Awards, presented by the Country Music Association and hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, as well as a track listing for Lionel Richie's new album, "Tuskegee," below.
1. "You Are" with Blake Shelton
2. "Say You, Say Me" with Jason Aldean
3. "Stuck On You" with Darius Rucker
4. "Deep River Woman" with Little Big Town
5. "My Love" with Kenny Chesney
6. "Dancing On The Ceiling" with Rascal Flatts
7. "Hello" with Jennifer Nettles
8. "Sail On" with Tim McGraw
9. "Endless Love" with Shania Twain
10. "Just For You" with Billy Currington
11. "Lady" with Kenny Rogers
12. "Easy" with Willie Nelson
13. "All Night Long" with Jimmy Buffett