Photos: 2012 Billboard Showcase at SXSW
Lionel Richie performs at the SXSW Billboard 2012 Showcase at ACL Live in Austin, Texas on March 14th, 2012.

Backstage at his Billboard SXSW gig, Richie chats about the show and new album.

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"I had so much fun!," Lionel Richie said backstage Wednesday night (March 14), minutes after finishing his energetic SXSW debut headlining Billboard's showcase at ACL Live. Richie -- this week's Billboard cover star -- sat down with Billboard.com video personality Downtown Julie Brown to chat about the show, his upcoming album "Tuskeegee," and more.

Lionel Richie: The Billboard Cover Story

"I didn't quite know that it was going to be the journey that it was," Richie said of "Tuskegee," which features his duets with a slew of country icons including Kenny Rogers (who also took the stage with him at Richie's Billboard SXSW gig) on classic Richie including "Endless Love" to "All Night Long."

The album, Richie explained, "started out where I was just going to do duets and then from there it just took off. When Willie Nelson came on and sang 'Easy Like Sunday Morning'… forget about it! And then Rascal Flatts picked, of all things, 'Dancing On The Ceiling.' I said, '[that] is not country.' They said, 'It is now.'"

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