@allmusic : As his popularity skyrocketed, Richie moved farther away from his R&B origins and concentrated more on adult contemporary balladry, which had been one of his strengths even as part of the Commodores.
@last.fm : Richie quit the Commodores in 1981 for a solo career. He released his self-titled debut in 1982. The album hit No. 3 on the charts and sold over 4 million copies. His follow up album, Can’t Slow Down, sold over twice as many copies and won the Grammy for Album of the Year in ‘84.