Lionel Richie struggled to cope with father's death

Lionel Richie struggled to cope with a "massive depression" after the death of his father in 1990.

The 68-year-old singer spent nearly a decade without recording new material following the release of his smash hit 1986 album Dancing on the Ceiling because he fell into a deep despair when his dad, also called Lionel, became ill and died.

"My father was ill and I went through a very, I won't say a depression, a massive depression," he said on U.K. TV show Lorraine. "My dad was my hero. I went through that whole period of my life."

The former Commodore revealed that his dark period, during which he also went through a divorce from his college sweetheart, Brenda Harvey, only ended in 1994 when he and his new partner Diane Alexander welcomed their son Miles.

"It was something about the birth of my kid," he explained. "Miles came along, Nicole (the daughter he adopted with Brenda) was already there, I realised I had a group of people looking up to me to be the head of the house."

Lionel revealed that he decided to return to music as he was embarrassed his children didn't know he was a famous musician, adding, "They didn't know what the hell I did for a living so I thought at that particular point, let's go back and prove to the kids what I do. I realised, this is what I should be doing."

After a decade, in which he only released a greatest hits collection, the All Night Long musician made his comeback in 1996 with Louder Than Words.

Although his return initially proved underwhelming, Lionel has now won over a new generations of fans, and in 2015 he performed to more than 100,000 people at Britain's famed Glastonbury festival - a gig he described as "ridiculous" and "fascinating".

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