Lionel Richie Opens Up About the Emotional Moment He Shared With Daughter Sofia on Her Wedding Day

The model married Elliot Grainge on April 22, 2023, in the South of France.

Sofia Richie and Lionel Richie

Steve Granitz / Getty Images

With three stylish Chanel outfits and a star-studded guest list, Sofia Richie’s wedding to Elliot Grainge in the South of France on April 22, 2023, was an absolute dream. While her celebrity friends, including as Cameron Diaz and Paris Hilton, made an appearance, Sofia’s family played a special role in the celebration. Her dad, music legend Lionel Richie, took on the role of father of the bride and had the honor of walking Sofia down the aisle. During an interview with Extra on April 25, 2023, the American Idol judge opened up about his daughter’s wedding. “Listen to me, I’ve cried enough,” he admits. “Baby girl got married. When I say that, it’s a great feeling, I must say.”

Lionel Richie and Sofia Richie

Presley Ann / Getty Images

At the beginning of the ceremony, when Lionel escorted the bride toward the altar, he revealed a sweet comment that Sofia made. “She spent the whole time walking down the aisle: ‘I love you, dad. I love you, dad. I love you, dad,’” the “All Night Long” singer reflects. “I go, ‘You’re killing me. You’re killing me.’ But that’s what a dad wants to hear, and I love baby girl so much, and the family was there to root her on.”

Although giving away the bride was an emotional moment for the musician, he tells the publication that watching her daughter get married was bittersweet. Instead of losing his little girl, Lionel explains that his family is only expanding. “I’ve known Elliot since he was nine years old, so I know the groom really well,” he notes. “There’s a thing down South we always say: ‘Who’s your people?’ Well, I know his people, so it really is a real wonder to see them in love and just as happy as I’ve ever seen my little girl and Elliot. It was a moment where yes, I was lettering her go, but I was also gaining a family. The family is getting huge right about now, but we are happy.”

After the social media personality tied the knot, her dad posted a tribute to his daughter on Instagram on April 24, 2023. “My little girl is all grown up and starting her own journey with the love of her life,” Lionel writes. “You'll always be my little bird, but I'm so proud of the woman you've become. Endless Love to you and Elliot.🤍 @sofiarichie @kelliot2.” Along with the caption, the “We Are the World” singer uploaded a collection of photos, captured by German Larkin, that documents the moment he walked Sofia down the aisle. The two are seen linking arms, surrounded by white flowers and greenery, while strolling toward the waterfront altar.

During an interview with People on April 24, 2023, the singer-songwriter shared that he had to quickly leave the South of France after the wedding to make it back in time for his job as an American Idol judge, which means he’s had to compromise his sleep schedule. “You go from one exciting story to another exciting story,” Lionel says. “I would love to tell you you can go to sleep in the middle of your daughter's wedding. You can't. Before we left to go to the wedding, I did American Idol. You can't sleep through that because you have to make decisions. And then of course, now I'm coming back.”

After the show, the artist says he’s going to head to King Charles III’s coronation to get ready to perform for the concert. “I've known King Charles for a while,” Lionel shares. “You never think [that will] translate into a tight 1,800 that will be present, and he calls and says, ‘I want you there.’ The answer is, ‘I'm there. I'm there.’ I’m walking in history. This is a moment that he gets to shine. I am very happy for him and the queen.” As for the songs he’s planning on singing, the artist is keeping his lips sealed. “I must tell you I can't say a word,” he admits. “It's a royal secret. They told me, ‘Don't reveal.’ But I would tell everybody if I could. I am trying my best to contain myself, but it’s going to be one in a million times in history to be part of something like this.”

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