Earlier this week I read that Lionel Richie will be releasing a country album March 2012. I was not surprised and most likely none of you reading this blog are surprised either. You will be able to see him perform songs from the upcoming album November 9th at the 45th Annual CMA Awards performing duets with Little Big Town, Darius Rucker and Rascal Flatts. However, this is not the first time Lionel Richie has appeared on the CMA Awards show. Back in 1984 he appeared with Kenny Rogers performing the song “Lady” and again in 1986 singing “Deep River Woman” with Alabama. As I heard the news of Richie‘s new country album I wondered why we don’t see more performers crossing genre lines to sing country music? Many years ago Ray Charles performed and recorded country music. Charles’ sentiments were very much the same as Richie, both speaking of their backgrounds growing up in the south influencing their decision to record country music. I understand that record labels dictate the music their artists will record, but record sales speak volumes too. Plenty of singers and groups reach the point where they act as executive producer and choose their own material. Why not choose the genre as well? If you are a singer and grew up listening to country music, or even if you like some of the songs, why not sing country music sometimes? Music is music. Songs are songs regardless the style of performance. Lionel Richie, have fun singing and playing music with other good musicians. We will listen!