Now 69 and said to be worth £150 million thanks to his golden voice and hits such as All Night Long, Hello and Say You, Say Me, he could be forgiven for entering his eighth decade enjoying a well-earned retirement. Instead, he has never worked harder.
In addition to 70 or so gigs a year, a stint as a judge on American Idol and a residency in Vegas (they sold mugs that read: 'Hello, is it tea you're looking for?'), he has several endorsement and advertising deals, as well as a range of bedding and homewares for a department store chain.
Miles (pictured with father Lionel Richie) was cautioned by police after telling airport security staff in London he had a bomb in his bag
Pictured: Daughter Sofia Richie, 20, attending the launch of the new website Prettylittlething.com
You can see why he is feted as one of the hardest-working performers in showbiz. But he is also known as one of the nicest.
Never sulky, never cool and never entirely in fashion, Lionel's reward has been that he has never gone out of fashion, either.
By way of contrast, meet his three children: Nicole, 37, Miles, 24, and Sofia, 20. Raised in incredible privilege, unlike their uncool father, they are stars of the reality TV and Instagram era. If it's in vogue they're into it.
They are known for brattish behaviour, run-ins with the law, drug rehabilitation and questionable choices of romantic partner (Sofia has dated the troubled pop star Justin Bieber and her current boyfriend is reality TV star Scott Disick).
When he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame last March, Lionel gestured to his children and joked: 'They've done so much to try to kill me.'
Certainly, the latest incident, involving Miles, a model, will have done nothing to lower a loving father's blood pressure.