Lionel Richie feared his career was over after knee injury

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Music icon Lionel Richie has revealed he feared a recent knee injury was going to end his career.

The 67-year-old star suffered a torn meniscus and was forced to undergo surgery on the injury in February, which prompted Lionel to worry that his legendary career in the music industry might end prematurely.

He explained: “You go into denial and you are like, ‘Oh, OK, I am having a little knee problem, I will just do some more shows and work it out.’

“In the old days if you got a little pain, you work it out. Well, the more I started doing shows, what I had was a torn meniscus and the guys said what you do with that is you have to stop, and I didn’t know how to stop.”

Lionel had to be convinced that he could return to touring after suffering the injury.

But the ‘All Night Long’ hitmaker – who is set to co-headline the ‘All the Hits’ tour alongside Mariah Carey from July – is now feeling fit and enthusiastic about his upcoming gigs.

He told ET Online: “I am programmed to run and so stopping meant I had to announce to pull the tour and I don’t cancel tours. I don’t cancel shows.

“So I went through a series of withdrawals where they had to sit and talk to me and go, ‘Lionel, it is not the end of your career.’ But I feel great now, back to normal.”

And Lionel revealed that, contrary to popular perception, he’s always found Mariah to be “respectful”, even addressing him as “Mr Richie”.

Speaking about his touring partner and long-time friend, Lionel said: “To be quite honest with you she is extremely – this may be a shocker – she is extremely respectful.”

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