Getty Images, Monica Schipper, Neilson Barnard
Getty Images, Monica Schipper, Neilson Barnard

Lionel Richie - Music or Religion?

Lionel Richie grew up in Tuskegee, Alabama. Jelly Roll grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. Both singer/songwriters tell amazing stories. Both are successful artists in their own right, but I have to wonder; has anyone else made the connection that I have?

Lionel grew up at the Tuskegee Institute, where two generations of his family worked. Lionel says that he grew up in a very supportive community and at one time, he even considered becoming a priest, but felt like music was his true calling.


Jelly Roll - Music or Prison?

Jelly Roll grew up in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee. His dad ran a wholesale meat business. His mother struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues, and is the person who gave Jason DeFord his nickname Jelly Roll because he was a chubby kid. He says SHE is the reason he fell in love with music. When his parents divorced, Jelly Roll felt responsible for taking care of his mother, so he started selling drugs to care for her. He would include free mixtapes of his rap songs in his drug sales.

Jelly Roll/

The Connection No One Sees

Am I the only person that hears the similarities in these two superstars' voices? They both are incredible songwriters, who write from the heart and touch people's lives. Is it that they both sing with such passion? For me, it's not just that. I literally could hear Lionel Richie singing "Need A Favor" and Jelly Roll singing Lionel Richie's "All Night Long."  Maybe I should ask AI to take their voices and switch them up. I think Lionel and Jelly Roll have an opportunity to bring each other's past hits back to life again, by trading places.

What do you think? Close your eyes, listen to these songs in the Youtube videos above, and tell me if you hear it too!   Email me at

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