Singer Lionel Richie is filled with endless love … for his family. “To have your kids say I love you, that’s the milestone,” he exclusively told Closer Weekly in the magazine’s latest issue, on newsstands now, at the Keep Memory Alive’s Power of Love Gala in Las Vegas on March 16.

The singer-songwriter has won an Oscar, four Grammys and countless other awards for songs like “Say You, Say Me,” and his legacy includes hits such as “Three Times a Lady” with his former band, The Commodores. Still, the father-of-three says that all pales in comparison to the love of his family.

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“The humbling part about all these successes is that my name at the end of the day is Dad and Papa,” he said. At the event where he helped to raise money for Alzheimer’s research, Lionel wowed the crowd with his hits “Hello” and “Dancing on the Ceiling.” But as he approaches his 70th birthday on June 20, he maintains that his family is what’s most important.

“There is a family of people who are going to be in that room with you on the last days of your life,” he said. “If you made sure they’re there for you and love you, that’s a great achievement, and everything else is icing on the cake.”

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Family has always been very important to Lionel. In a previous interview with Piers Morgan, he recalled what it was like to raise his adopted daughter Nicole Richie when she was a little girl. “It took about maybe a year for me to just fall in love and she was a little button,” he gushed. “And of course by that time I was Dad and so I said, ‘OK, here is what we are going to do: you’re going to make everyone wish that they had adopted you. You are going to make everyone in your family wish they actually had a chance to get you back,’ and that’s when I said, ‘Let’s adopt her.'” Lionel has such a great family!

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