• Lionel Richie adopted Nicole Richie when she was 9 years old from family friends who were struggling
  • She is the eldest of three and has 2 siblings Sofia, 23, and Myles, 27
  • Nicole now has two children of her own, making Lionel a grandpa!

Featured on People's issue honouring Black History Month, Lionel Richie is opening up about being a father, particularly to his adopted daughter, Nicole Richie, who is a celebrity in her own right!

Lionel, who is now 72, is proud of all three of his kids, and beams with pride as he speaks on their accomplishments, and what he's learned as a dad. 

Lionel Richie reflects on fatherhood

It was just 1990 when Lionel Richie agreed to fully legally adopt Nicole Richie, nine at the time, although she had been living with Lionel since she was three years old. 

Lionel Richie and Nicole Richie share a moment at the "The Truth About Diamonds" book signing.

Her biological parents were friends with Lionel, however, they weren't equipped to take care of Nicole, and knew she'd be safe and well taken care of with Lionel.

Now, at 72 years old, Lionel is happier than ever at that choice, as he proudly watched his eldest of three take on the world herself. 

"I don't know why I'm so shocked with what my kids are doing. I scared my folks to death!" he joked with People. 

Lionel is a father of three children, Nicole, 40, Myles, 27, and Sofia, 23, all celebrities in their own right, but Nicole will always be his special first.

"Nicole was actually a godsend," Lionel told the outlet. "She was a little girl who needed a shot. She was used to people coming and going. She looked at me and I'd say, 'I'm not going anywhere.'"

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Lionel was married to Brenda Harvey at the time, and although he says they "didn't agree on much", they both agreed on Nicole.

Although the two split just a few years later, Lionel went on to marry Diane Alexander and welcomed Sofia and Myles, before their divorce in 2004.

Through both divorces, Lionel says that Nicole helped "ground him".

Now married to Joel Madden, Nicole has two children of her own, Harlow, 14 and Sparrow, 12. Lionel, who is thrilled to be a grandfather, still finds the circle of life amusing at best.

"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 said. 

"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.'" 

And now, he gets to watch it again! "I'll say something and she goes, 'Dad, we don't use those kinds of words around the kids.'"

He continued laughing, "And I go, 'Excuse me?'" he says with a laugh. "She turned into a fantastic young lady."