Vintage TV Special: The Making of Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling”

Defying gravity: Lionel Richie's "Dancing on the Ceiling"

Defying gravity: Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling”

In 1986, Lionel Richie’s career was, to quote a song from his Commodores days, flying high. His blockbuster album Can’t Slow Down had dominated the charts courtesy of music videos for “All Night Long”, “Running With The Night”, “Hello”, and “Penny Lover”, and he’d just won an Academy Award for the White Nights’ soundtrack hit “Say You Say Me”. For the lead-off single for the next album, Richie delivered a surprisingly silly title track, a bouncy trifle called “Dancing on the Ceiling”. The inevitable video was designed to mimic Fred Astaire’s routine in the 1951 film Royal Wedding where his dancing seemingly defies gravity. Richie even enlisting Royal Wedding‘s director Stanley Donen to shoot the clip.


Take a look at this HBO behind-the-scenes special from 1986 entitled “Lionel Richie: The Making of Dancing on the Ceiling”.


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