Lionel Richie ‘Tried to Bribe the Pilot’ to Avoid Canceling Madison Square Garden Show
Lionel Richie offered his profuse apologies to fans at his makeup show at New York City's Madison Square Garden on Monday night (Aug. 14), after canceling the show's original date one hour after showtime.
When inclement weather prevented his plane from landing in the New York area, Richie says he did everything in his power — even trying something slightly illegal — to make it to the venue.
"I tried to bribe the pilot," the singer told his Monday night crowd, according to fan-recorded video posted on social media.
"And the pilot said, 'I do want to see my wife tomorrow.' So tonight we are going to make up for that. I apologize for that a thousand times," Richie went on to say.
Richie's late cancelation left many fans disappointed and angry on Saturday night (Aug. 12), especially if they knew they wouldn't be able to attend the makeup date.
"Flew from NC to NYC for the weekend. Hotel, airfare, Ubers, dinner ... this is a $4000 'bummer' for me. Some of us can't make the Monday show and are now stuck," one fan tweeted at the time.
But from the stage during his makeup date, Richie said that ultimately, the cancelation was out of his hands. "I had two 'nos' to come at the same time. And when those two decide it's a 'no' — when God says 'no and when the pilot says 'no' — the answer..."
Richie's Madison Square Garden stop was part of his 2023 tour with Earth, Wind & Fire, who also performed as part of the rescheduled date on Monday night.