Lionel Richie has been more popular abroad than in the United States for years now. He's got a huge Iraqi fan base, and my first hint of his fame in other countries came in 1996, after some friends returned from a summer trip to Europe and reported that they'd heard his 1983 hit "All Night Long" wherever they went.
Soccer's also more popular abroad than it is in the U.S., so how come this 1981 video for "Lady (You Bring Me Up)" by the Commodores, Richie's old band, wasn't resuscitated during all that endless World Cup coverage? It's my favorite of all the Commodores' songs—in fact it's one of the Songs That Will Still Blow Me Away Years From Now™—and it ended up being Richie's next-to-last hit with the group before he embarked on his smash solo career. But as Popblerd's Mike Heyliger said earlier today in an e-mail about the music video, "I bet the surviving Commodores wish they could burn it."