By Jon Wiederhorn
Everyone knows the smooth voice of R&B legend Lionel Richie goes down well with a glass of chilled beer. Now, a brewing company in Australia is emphasizing that point by shooting a commercial of the Commodores vocalist performing inside a man's refrigerator.
In the ad for Lion Nation Tap King Refreshing Draught, a regular guy, presumably just off work, opens his fridge looking for something satisfying, then closes it in disappointment. A moment later, he reopens it and hears the first piano notes of Richie’s 1984 hit "Hello." The man pushes various items aside and onto the floor and to his astonishment finds Richie clad in a black tuxedo and sitting at a white grand piano in an ornate tiled room decorated with a hanging chandelier.
"Hello, is it me you’re looking for?" Richie sings to the man, then continues. "I can see it in your eyes, I can see it in your smile." The music continues to play as Richie reaches for a glass and pours a refreshing pint of Tap King from a spotlight-shaped tap on the piano. The love-struck expression on the homeowner’s face as Richie hands him the beer is classic. Richie will promote Tap King Refreshing Draught throughout July.
"Hello" originally appeared on Richie’s second solo album Can't Slow Down, which came out in 1983 and topped the Billboard album chart for three weeks. The song, the third single from the album, went to No. 1 on three different charts: pop, R&B and adult contemporary. "Hello" was also No. 1 in the UK.
Can’t Slow Down remained in the top 10 of the Billboard album chart for 59 consecutive weeks and won a 1985 Grammy for Album of the Year. To date, it has sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S., according to the RIAA.