Why Lionel Richie's Relationship Is Causing A Stir

Lionel Richie is known for so many things. First of all, he's a singer and songwriter, who served us hits like "All Night Long," "Hello," and "Endless Love," among so many other romantic medleys.

These songs earned him the highly coveted position as a judge on American Idol, alongside Katy Perry and Luke Bryan. He joined the beloved show in 2017, according to Variety, and excitedly said of the gig: "As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table. It's going to be so much fun!" He's now been a judge for four years.

But perhaps what keeps Lionel in headlines most frequently is his famous daughters. He's dad to Nicole Richie, whom he adopted with ex-wife Brenda Harvey in 1990 when Nicole was 9, according to Biography. And he's also the father of Sofia Richie and Miles Richie, whom he shares with ex-wife Diane Alexander. While Nicole has become a huge success on her own, Sofia has also grabbed headlines for her relationship with Scott Disick.

In fact, as Lionel's own eyebrow-raising relationship is taking center stage in February 2021, some fans are calling him out for his reaction to Sofia's relationship. Here's the scoop.

Lionel Richie has a 40-year age gap with his girlfriend, Lisa Parigi

To celebrate Valentine's Day 2021, Lionel Richie shared a photo of himself with his girlfriend, Lisa Parigi, on Instagram. The duo has been dating since 2014, as Page Six notes, but the good people of the internet had a minor flip-out when they realized that there's about a 40-year age gap between the two of them.

"Lionel Richie with his new Bae, he's 71 and she's 30, love wins," a Twitter fan wrote. (Though Parigi's exact age is unknown, Page Six reported she's in her 30s.) Parigi is reportedly younger than Lionel's eldest daughter, Nicole Richie, and another fan brought this up. "Personally i don't have an issue with age but Lionel Richie is dating someone younger than his daughter," another person commented.

Some fans pointed out a hint of hypocrisy, since Lionel was upset about the fact that his daughter, Sofia Richie, was dating Scott Disick, with a 15-year age gap. Lionel called their relationship "a phase," according to E! News. In another publication by E! News, a source told the outlet: "Lionel has accepted their relationship but still isn't entirely 100 percent on board with Scott mostly because of the age difference and how young Sofia is."

Sofia and Disick split in October 2020, according to Seventeen, so Lionel can breathe a sigh of relief. But still, he's certainly okay with age gaps when it comes to his own relationships.

Are marriage and children in Lionel Richie and Lisa Parigi's future?

The age gap between Lionel Richie and Lisa Parigi might be an issue for some people, but it hasn't stopped the couple from thinking about marriage and babies. That being said, one is more likely than the other.

"Marriage ... it's a bad idea for men. I've been there twice and it was very expensive for me," Richie told the Mirror in 2016, two years after he started dating Parigi. He added that, in his opinion, "kids aren't the problem — ex-wives are. That's why I won't marry again, but I'm happy to commit in other ways." That works out just fine for Parigi, who apparently explained, "I don't need a ring to validate my relationship with him. What we already have is enough. So many people need marriage to validate a relationship, but I'm not one of them. Lionel doesn't owe me anything."

As for having children together, Richie admitted, "I'm willing to become a father again. I might have just let a secret slip there, but so be it — Lisa and I are cool with the idea of children." If they do end up having little ones of their own, then there's a good chance you'll see them popping up on social media.

Lisa Parigi loves posting about her relationship with Lionel Richie

If anyone has an issue with Lionel Richie dating Lisa Parigi, then they might want to stay away from her Instagram account. That's because it seems like she loves to post pics with her partner and you can definitely see why when you get a glimpse of what they get up to.

While there are plenty of pictures and videos of the couple doing things like enjoying a meal together, taking an outdoor art class, or watching a basketball game, that's not all that Lisa posts about. You can also see her and Richie out at industry events, celebrating special occasions, traveling to far-off (and photo-worthy) locations, and hanging out with his daughter, Sofia Richie. Parigi even joined Richie while meeting Pope Francis and Prince Charles. Of course, there are also a fair share of images that simply show them cozying up together.

Despite their age difference, Richie and Parigi certainly seem to like to spend time with each other. But who is Lisa Parigi in the first place?

Who is Lionel Richie's girlfriend, Lisa Parigi?

While people might have been shocked to find out in 2021 that Lionel Richie is in a relationship with Lisa Parigi, a woman who is much younger, and others might have known about their relationship since it began in 2014, how many actually know who she is? Frankly, Parigi is much more than just Richie's girlfriend.

Originally from Switzerland, according to Heavy, Parigi "began her career working in the corporate world" and used to be a model, but "now runs a lifestyle blog called Dream Design Discover." She also happens to "speak four languages fluently: German, French, Schwiizertüütsch (Swiss German), and English."

"In Switzerland, all children are taught several languages from a very young age," Parigi explained to Hedonist Magazine (via Heavy). Noting that she feels like her multi-linguistic ways are a "valuable ... gift" that helps her in both "in life and in business to be able to communicate so well in many different places," she explained, "Knowing many languages has also benefitted me because it is unexpected — people notice my exotic look and make assumptions, and then I speak and they are intrigued and curious of where I come from. I love that I do not fit a typical mold or label." 

The fact that she doesn't fit into a mold is surely one of the reasons Richie is so charmed by the woman in his life.