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‘I Tried to Bribe the Pilot’: Grounded Lionel Richie Took Desperate Measures to Get to His Concert on Time

Music legend Lionel Richie wants to make sure his fans know he’s sorry about canceling a concert, and about the efforts he went through to convince an airline pilot to ensure he’d make it to the show location.

Lionel Richie (Photo via Instagram,

A video on Twitter, or X as it is now known, shows Richie apologizing to his fans on Aug. 14.

In the clip, he said he tried his best to make it to his scheduled concert at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 12, but unfortunately had to postpone it due to a delay in his flight, People magazine reported.

Fly, He Said

In a moment of desperation to fulfill his fans’ expectations, Richie revealed he spoke with the pilot to see if there was any way to bypass safety precautions, but ultimately realized the importance of prioritizing safety over convenience.

“I had two ‘no’s to come at the same time,” Richie said. “And when those two decided it’s a no — when God says no and when the pilot says no, the answer …” Richie told fans later during the postponed show. “I tried to bribe the pilot.”

He added, “And the pilot said, ‘I do want to see my wife tomorrow.’ So tonight we are going to make up for that. I apologize for that a thousand times.”

Richie, who is 74 years old and has a net worth of approximately $240 million, had to cancel last-minute. It was reported that cancelation affected 20,000 fans who were slated to attend the MSG event, according to People.

Of the reason for the cancelation, Richie wrote, “Due to severe weather and being unable to land in the NY and surrounding areas, I’m unable to make it to the show tonight. I’m so bummed. We are rescheduling the show to Monday, Aug 14. Can’t wait to perform for you all. Tickets for tonight’s show are valid for the show on Monday.”

The makeup show impacted Richie’s other commitments. He had a tour stop scheduled in Connecticut on that Monday, but it was rescheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 16.

The concert at the Bridgeport Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater was supposed to include a pre-show Q&A with Derek Jeter, who retired from playing with the New York Yankee, but Jeter won’t be able to attend, according to The Connecticut Post.

Sing a Song All Night Long

SeatGeek reports that tickets for Richie’s performance with Earth, Wind & Fire, as part of his Sing a Song All Night Long Tour, were priced between $148 and $3,250.

According to The Daily Mail, the tour started at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, earlier this month. The Hello! Hits Tour, the last tour by the “American Idol” judge, was in 2019.

Richie is presently preparing to finish his current tour with a show at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on Sept. 15.

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