Get to Know Lionel Richie's 3 Kids

Nicole, Lionel, Sofia and Miles

Lionel Richie has endless love for his three children: Nicole, Miles and Sofia.

The R&B legend became a dad in the 1980s when he unofficially adopted Nicole, who is the biological daughter of his former bandmate. (Lionel and his then-wife, Brenda Harvey-Richie, made the adoption legal when Nicole was 9.)

"Nicole was actually a godsend. She was a little girl who needed a shot,” Lionel told People in February 2022. “She was used to people coming and going. She looked at me and I’d say, ‘I’m not going anywhere.’”

Lionel was close to his own parents, who teased him about what would happen when he became a father himself. “My dad and mom used to always say, 'One day you'll get yours,' and I couldn't figure out what that meant until I had kids," he joked. "Nicole came to me one day and she said, 'Dad, why do you think I'm lying?' I said, 'Nicole, it's the same lie I told my mom and dad.'"

Keep reading for a complete guide to Lionel Richie’s children:

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How many children does Lionel Richie have?

Lionel Richie has three children: Nicole Richie (born in 1981), Miles Brockman Richie (born in 1994), and Sofia Richie Grainge (born in 1998).

Who are the mothers of Lionel Richie’s children?

Brenda Harvey-Richie and Karen Moss

Brenda Harvey-Richie and Lionel.<p>IMAGO / MediaPunch</p>
Brenda Harvey-Richie and Lionel.

IMAGO / MediaPunch

Lionel Richie’s eldest daughter, Nicole Richie, is the biological daughter of Karen Moss and Peter Michael Escovedo (who is the brother of Sheila E., the drummer who famously collaborated with Prince). Lionel and his first wife, Brenda Harvey-Richie, began caring for Nicole when she was 3 years old after Moss and Escovedo began having financial difficulties. They officially adopted her when she was 9.

Lionel and Brenda, who were college sweethearts, tied the knot on Oct. 18, 1975. A decade into their marriage, Lionel began having an affair with Diane Alexander, the woman who later became his second wife. Brenda caught them together in June 1988 and attacked the pair. She was arrested and booked on suspicion of causing corporal injury to her spouse, trespassing, resisting arrest, vandalism, battery and disturbing the peace. Brenda was released on a $5,000 bail.

Lionel filed for divorce from Brenda in 1988, and the duo finalized their split in 1993.

Diane Alexander

Diane Alexander and Lionel Richie<p>Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images</p>
Diane Alexander and Lionel Richie

Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Lionel Richie married his second wife, Diane Alexander, on Dec. 21, 1995. They began dating in 1986 after Diane appeared as a dancer in Lionel’s music video for “Dancing on the Ceiling.” When they met, Lionel was still married to his first wife, Brenda Harvey-Richie. Brenda caught her then-husband with his mistress in 1988.

Before their 2004 divorce, Lionel and Diane welcomed two kids together: son Miles (born in 1994) and daughter Sofia (born in 1998).

Who are Lionel Richie’s children?

Nicole Richie

Lionel Richie’s eldest child, daughter Nicole Richie, was born on Sept. 21, 1981, to Karen Moss and Peter Michael Escovedo (who was in Lionel’s band at the time). Lionel and his then-wife, Brenda Harvey-Richie, took Nicole in as a toddler when her biological parents were experiencing money trouble. They officially adopted her when she was 9.

As an adult, Nicole became famous as an early aughts it girl alongside her best friend Paris Hilton, with whom she starred on the reality series The Simple Life. She later began a career as an actress, appearing in TV shows including Chuck, Great News, Grace and Frankie and more. In 2008, she founded a jewelry line called House of Harlow 1960, which has since expanded to include eyewear, accessories and loungewear.

Nicole has been in a relationship with Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden since 2006. They share two kids: daughter Harlow (born in 2008) and son Sparrow (born in 2009). Nicole and Joel tied the knot on Dec. 11, 2010.

While she was expecting Harlow, Nicole said that she wanted to mend her relationship with her biological parents. “It wasn't an overnight decision,” she explained in a 2007 interview with Access Hollywood. “When I found out that I was pregnant, there was just something inside of me that felt a responsibility to mend any issues that I've had with my parents in the past, because listen, I have put them through a lot. Of course, you just want to heal any wounds before I become a mother myself.”

Miles Brockman Richie

Lionel’s only son, Miles Brockman Richie—whom he shares with second wife Diane Alexander—was born on May 27, 1994. Miles was 9 when his parents divorced, and he’s said that he spent much of his later childhood with his mom.

Miles has worked as a model, making his runway debut during New York Fashion Week in 2018. One year later, he made headlines when he allegedly made a bomb threat at Heathrow Airport in London. Per TMZ, eyewitnesses claimed that Miles was frustrated when he couldn't board a flight and then told employees he had a bomb. He allegedly punched a security guard before police detained him. He was given a warning and was released after accepting it.

Sofia Richie Grainge

Lionel and Diane’s youngest child, daughter Sofia Richie Grainge, arrived on Aug. 24, 1998. Her godfather was her dad’s friend Michael Jackson, and she became close friends with the late pop star’s daughter, Paris Jackson.

As a teenager, Sofia began modeling and landing editorial photo shoots in magazines including Teen Vogue, Nylon and Dazed. She made her runway debut in 2016 and later walked for Chanel, Jeremy Scott, Dolce & Gabbana and more. Sofia has also worked as a designer herself, collaborating with her sister Nicole’s brand, House of Harlow 1960, on a capsule collection.

Sofia married Elliot Grainge on April 22, 2023. In January 2024, Sofia announced that she is expecting her first baby.

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Are Lionel Richie's kids adopted?

Nicole Richie, Lionel Richie's eldest child, is adopted. He's also biological father to Sofia and Miles.

How old are Lionel Richie’s kids?

Nicole Richie turned 42 last year, while her brother, Miles, will celebrate his 30th birthday in May 2024. Lionel’s youngest child, daughter Sofia, turned 25 in 2023.

Are any of Lionel Richie’s kids musicians?

Both of Lionel Richie’s daughters have dabbled in music, but neither one is exactly known for their work in the industry. Sofia has said that her dad tried to encourage an interest in music when she was a kid. “My dad had me in singing lessons from a really young age and I've played piano with my dad growing up, so I have that part of me,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2018. “[My dad] is a really respected soul singer, and I feel like that is a lot of responsibility.”

Nicole, meanwhile, released a single called “Stunnah” in 2013. Seven years later, she released her debut album, Unearthed, which has been described as “a trap album about gardening.”

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