"I told her, 'Bring all the camp with you.'"
Richie jokes that he expects Carey to bring along a massive entourage and might need a "dressing room larger than the arena," but that's no problem.
"I wanted her to feel in her element," Richie says. "And a diva has to do what a diva has to do."
The Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter says he invited Carey on tour because of her discography of hits and campy vibe.
"It's going to be camp city," Richie says. "And I told her, 'Bring all the camp with you.'"
Richie and Carey's 22-show tour launches July 21 in Oakland, California. Richie postponed the tour's start in February so he could fully recover from a knee procedure and says he now feels great.
The 68-year-old father of three -- who says he's writing a book called How to Survive Your Children -- is accustomed to dramatics. He says his daughter Nicole started her acting career as a teenager at home anytime she denied wrongdoing. Now she's earning praise for her comedic turn in the NBC sitcom Great News.
"She has the command of what she wants to portray," Richie says of his eldest child. "If it's dramatic, boy can she be dramatic. And just funny. That's a natural."
NBC's Great News returns for its second season in September.