Is Nicole Richie related to Lionel Richie? Exploring the actor's background as she celebrates her 40th birthday

Nicole Richie recently turned 40 and celebrated the occasion (Image via Getty Images)
Nicole Richie recently turned 40 and celebrated the occasion (Image via Getty Images)

Actor Nicole Richie celebrated her 40th birthday on September 21. She organized an outdoor gathering to mark the occasion. In a recent Instagram video, Richie was seen sitting at a table with a birthday cake in front of her. The cake had an old picture of her with "Happy Birthday Nicole" written on it.

The actor narrowly escaped a dangerous incident during which her hair briefly caught on fire as she attempted to blow out the candles. She instantly recoiled, and someone near her put out the fire. Her husband, Joel Madden, jokingly responded by calling her hot.

Nicole Richie and Lionel Richie's relationship timeline

Born in Berkeley, California, Nicole Richie is of English, Mexican, and Creole African-American ancestry. Percussionist and music director Peter Michael Escovedo and Karen Moss are her biological parents.

However, Escovedo and Moss were reportedly facing issues in their relationship and were not financially strong enough to raise Nicole. This is where Lionel Richie enters the picture.

Richie first saw Nicole at a concert in 1983 where she was playing the tambourine. He went backstage to meet Nicole's parents since he was close to the family. Richie reportedly knew about their financial woes.

Lionel Richie and Nicole Richie at Virgin Megastore in New York City (Image via Getty Images)
Lionel Richie and Nicole Richie at Virgin Megastore in New York City (Image via Getty Images)

The famed singer offered his home as a temporary solution to the family's problems. Nicole was to stay under Lionel Richie's care until her parents figured out a more permanent solution.

Lionel initially became Nicole's guardian. He even dedicated his 1986 song, Ballerina Girl, to her. The singer confirmed that the song was about Nicole. Later, he legally adopted Nicole when she was nine.

However, Lionel Richie and his wife Brenda Harvey divorced in 1993. Following their separation, Nicole remained close to Brenda.


Initially, it was tough for Lionel to earn the trust of his adopted daughter. Nicole Richie was confused as a child, given that her adoptive father would be absent for weeks and months.

As an adult, Nicole Richie battled substance abuse and eating disorders. However, she has been working on building a stable life. Today she comes across as a functional adult, married, and a mother to two children.

Nicole Richie's career path

Nicole Richie is a 40-year-old actress, television personality, and fashion designer. She gained recognition after her appearance on the reality television series, The Simple Life.

She made numerous television appearances and was on the judge's panel for the reality competition series Fashion Star. She was then seen on the comedy series, Candidly Nicole.

She is the founder of the lifestyle brand House of Harlow and has published two fiction novels.

Nicole Richie graduated from Montclair College Preparatory School in 1999 and studied Arts and Media at the University of Arizona. She dropped out after two years and returned to California.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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