Lionel Richie is braced for Mariah Carey's entourage on the 'All the Hits' tour
Music legends Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey hit the road for the 'All the Hits' tour starting July 21. USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Even Lionel Richie doesn't know what to expect when he begins touring with one of music's most glamorous and grandest personalities, Mariah Carey.
The two music superstars are hitting the road together for the first time on the 22-stop All the Hits tour starting July 21 in Oakland, Calif.
The five-time Grammy winning Carey, 47, has a whopping 18 No. 1 singles — along with a reputation for rolling with a big entourage and insisting on life's finer things in her concert riders (like Cristal champagne with bendy straws, according to 2010 documents).
Richie, also the proud owner of five Grammys, says he's ready to keep Carey happy on the road.
"Let me tell you how this works. I am going to give her the larger dressing room," says Richie. "I told her to bring the tourage. Not entourage. It’s the tourage. I’m not going to fight over that. Anything she wants to bring, she can."
Music excess is entertaining for the fans.
"It’s part of the whole show, man. You cannot just have a minimum," says Richie. "You gotta go large or don’t go at all."
The Richie-Carey tour, delayed due to Richie's February knee-surgery, generated excitement because it brings two impressive song worlds together. People also want to see what will happen when these worlds collide.
"No one expected it. I was looking for the shock and awe factor. When you announce Mariah and Lionel everyone was like, 'What???' That was exactly what I was looking for,' " says Richie. "The buzz alone was, 'What are you doing?' That’s what you want. And now the crowd is going to come to see what’s going to happen."
Billboard music editor Jason Lipshutz adds: "There's going to be nothing boring about seeing these two on stage. They are both legendary figures with big personalities."
Even Lionel's daughter Nicole Richie, 35, is traveling cross-country to catch one of the shows. Normally, Nicole only watches her dad's solo shows if they're across town. And even that's a maybe. But Carey is a big draw.
"(Nicole) has friends, and they are like, 'Oh my God, we are going!' She wants to see Mariah," says Richie. "That’s the camp part. It’s going to be a campy evening. I just know it."
Songs like Richie's Endless Love might seem prime for a duet, but the singer insists he's not sure if that's going to happen.
"That rumor is out there. I cannot deny or confirm it yet. Because it’s just that kind of relationship," says Richie of the duet possibility. "But I like that. Even I’m going to get to the show and go, ‘Are we doing this or not?' I don’t know! But I don’t want to say it until we’re actually onstage. And I’m going to look at the audience and go, 'We’re going to do it tonight!'"
For this tour, Richie says he's as expectant and curious as the fans due to the Mariah-factor.
"Listen, this may be the first time in my career where I cannot tell you what’s going to happen," says Richie. "So I am going to get me a good seat somewhere and check this out myself. This is what I want and what the fans want."
Music icon Lionel Richie opens up to USA TODAY's Bryan Alexander about the '80s outfit he'll never live down, his favorite songs and more before his All the Hits tour with Mariah Carey. USA TODAY