Lionel Richie. Picture: Bang Showbiz

Lionel Richie has revealed he suffered a "massive depression" after the death of his father, and it was seeing his own kids' need for a father that pulled him out of it.

The 'Hello' hitmaker's dad Lionel Brockman Richie Snr. died in 1990 at the age of 75 and he admits it was not until the birth of his own son Miles in 1994 that he fully recovered from his bereavement.

Speaking on UK TV show 'Lorraine', he shared: "My father was ill and I went through a very, I won't say a depression, a massive depression ... my dad was my hero. I went through that whole period of my life.

"It was something about the birth of my kid. Miles came along, Nicole was already there, I realised I had a group of people looking up to me to be the head of the house. They didn't know what the hell I did for a living so I thought at that particular point, let's go back and prove to the kids what I do. I realised, this is what I should be doing."

The 68-year-old singer is father to adopted daughter Nicole Richie in with first wife Brenda Harvey, and has son Miles Brockman, 23, and daughter Sofia Richie, 19, with second wife Diane Alexander.

Lionel first found fame in the 70s singing with The Commodores, and revealed he had considered retiring early on. But then he wrote hit 'Lady' for Kenny Rogers which sparked his solo career.

Now he is delighted to be still working, as a judge on 'American Idol' almost four decades later.

He said: "I was thinking of retiring as a Commodore and then something came along called the Kenny Rogers and 'Lady' and now the solo career. 'OK, now you're supposed to just ride that all the way out, right?'

"Then, at the ripe old age of 200, someone calls on the phone and says would you like to be on 'American Idol'? Now I'm just enjoying the position."

Lionel credits his incredible performance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2015 for reinvigorating his career and introducing him to a new generation of music fans.

He said: "Glastonbury did something completely ridiculous It's so fascinating. The third generation came along, they came dressed like me from the 70s and 80s. The afros in the audience, the moustache is in the audience - and that's the girls! They're having fun, I'm having fun. They sing every note, every song. If you can't enjoy this ride, shame on everybody."