Pop-Up Video: Hello (1984 )

Single: Lionel Richie
Album: Can't Slow Down
Released: February 13, 1984
Genre: Pop, R&B, Soft Rock
Songwriter: Lionel Richie

"Hello" by Lionel Richie was the second number 1 song released from his sophomore solo effort, Can't Slow Down. The other chart-topper was "All Night Long (All Night)." In total, the LP spawned five singles, including "Running with the Night," "Stuck on You," and "Penny Lover."  

The biggest-selling album in the history of Motown Records, Can't Slow Down won the 1984 Grammy for Album of the Year. The video for "Hello" was voted the worst music video of all time in a poll of 8,000 music fans by the UK TV music channel The Box.

“I thought it was so corny, 
but he said it’d be a hit"
Lionel Richie 
Lionel Richie was a shy youngster, intimidated about talking to girls. In his head, he would tell them, "Hello, is it me you're looking for?" Years later, he decided to use the line in a song but couldn't make it work. When record producer James Anthony Carmichael visited Richie, the singer greeted him with the line. "Finish that song," Carmichael replied. "I thought it was so corny, but he said it'd be a hit– and it was." It was ready for his first solo album, but he left it off. His wife insisted he includes it on his second LP, "Can't Slow Down."

"You're not creating the story. 
I am." Director Bob Giraldi
The music video for "Hello" was produced by Bob Giraldi, who also directed Michael Jackson's "Beat It." The story casts Richie as an acting teacher named Mr. Reynolds, with unrequited love for a blind student. He discovers she shares the feeling, demonstrated by a likeness of his head in clay she sculpts. Richie complained the tale about the blind woman had no relationship to the song. The director snapped, "You're not creating the story; I am." 

When Richie objected that the bust didn't look like him. Giraldi told him the girl making it was supposed to be blind. The director is quoted in the book I Want My MTV, "I came up with the idea of a blind girl and Lionel as a teacher. 'Hello' is one of the top videos ever." It was voted 'worst music video of all time' in a poll of 8,000 music fans by the UK TV music channel The Box. 

The girl who played the blind sculptress was a 26-year-old fully sighted aspiring actress named Laura Carrington. She played Dr. Simone Ravelle Hardy on General Hospital in the late 1980s and made history as part of TV's first black/white interracial couple. 


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