Lionel Richie & Mariah Carey Brought 'All the Hits' (And Dem Babies) to Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl

Lionel Richie, 2017
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Live Nation

Lionel Richie performs on the opening night of the All the Hits Tour at ORACLE Arena on July 21, 2017 in Oakland, Calif.

The timeless music icons serenaded the sold-out crowd on Monday (July 31) with a nostalgic sing-along... all night long.

Glimmering suits and dresses, "dem babies" and two of music's most evocative catalogs of hits collided as Lionel Richie and special guest Mariah Carey capped the California run of their 'All The Hits' North American tour on Monday (July 31).

Mariah may not "know" too many people, but the Hollywood Bowl sure knew her hits. The dahhhling diva that she is, Carey took to the stage for the first half of the evening settling for an entrance that consisted of being lifted by tuxedoed male dancers as she laid across a lounge chair in a sheer, gold dress, performing set opener "I'm That Chick" off her 2008 album E=MC2. Playing up her over-the-top "diva behavior," Mimi made a brief pit stop center stage, where her glam squad greeted her with a few final touch-ups -- Carey adding, "Can I have a sip of my tea real quick?" This incited many in the crowd to sip a "splash" of their own drinks as well.

The elusive chanteuse continued on with her more up-tempo classics, such as "Heartbreaker" -- which was complemented by the track's music video guest stars Da Brat and Missy Elliott on the screen behind her -- as well as "Touch My Body" and her feature on Busta Rhymes' "I Know What You Want." Carey's petite-yet-commanding frame paraded the stage, picking up her dress train, chanting "work it, walk, work it, walk," before bantering with the crowd. "I mean, do I sit? Do I stand up here? I want to sit in that throne," she self-deprecatingly asked the audience.

In between a seductive rendition of her Butterfly classic "My All" and The Emancipation of Mimi chart-topper "Don't Forget About Us," Carey teased there were two special guests she had planned to join her onstage, but "wasn't sure if they were going to make it." Alas, after some trepidation, her now-six-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe (Roc & Roe) -- known affectionately as "dem babies" -- made their way onstage, with Roc shouting in the microphone, "What's up, people!"

Mariah revealed that she just taught daughter Monroe, who introduced herself as "Miss Monroe," the lyrics to her 1996 Hot 100-slaying smash "Always Be My Baby" -- and proceeded to sing the anthem, dedicating the performance to her twins as home video of their childhood played on the jumbo screen. 

 

Mariah and #DemBabies #MariahCarey #allthehitstour #mariahcarey @mariahcarey

A post shared by Keith Tyndall (@keithtyndall) on

 

After a quick wardrobe change into a "festive" silver party dress paired with white heels, Carey kicked off one final dance party with lead Mimi single "It's Like That," before throwing it back to her first Hot 100 No. 1 hit, "Vision Of Love." Mimi hit the track's signature high notes with silky perfection, and elivered an extended vocal register showcase before the song's final note. Closing with crowd favorite "We Belong Together," Carey returned to the stage for an encore performance of her tear-jerker ballad "Hero," quipping that the track means so much to her because of the enduring effect it's had on her fans. 

Strobe lights and epic theme music erupted as the night's touted headliner Lionel Richie sang the word "Hello" into the mic, before a spotlight shone on the 68-year-old music legend, adorned in a shimmery silver blazer -- proving age is nothing but a number. "You guys ready to party?!" Richie excitedly shouted.

Celebrating the song's 40th anniversary, Lionel kicked off his set at the piano with Commodores staple "Easy," setting the mood for a blissful summer night. Venturing on with smash singles like "You Are," "My Love" and "Dancing On The Ceiling," a hilarious moment came when Richie took a moment to share a funny anecdote with the crowd. "I had a large man come up to me the other day to tell me he's made love to me," he related. "His wife then jumped in and said, 'It's true! I was there.' This next song is dedicated to them." That song turned out to be "Stuck On You," off Lionel's second studio album Can't Slow Down.

With the crowd on their feet nearly the entire two-hour set, and Lionel having the time of his life jamming out with his backing band, fans swayed and reminisced along with Commodores catalog smashes "Three Times A Lady" and "Brick House," before Richie closed the career-spanning affair with likely the night's most anticipated classic, "All Night Long (All Night)." 

While Mariah and Lionel (and their respective fanbases) may seem like an unlikely pairing for a joint-tour, the opportunity to witness two absolute legends, whose decades of hits have grown synonymous with many of our defining life moments, is a cross-generational experience that hits the heart, feeds the soul and journeys pleasantly down memory lane.  

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.