Lionel Richie was told 'Easy Like Sunday Morning' was ''not black enough'' when he first wrote it.

The singer wrote the track - originally performed with his old group The Commodores - after being told his previous effort was ''too black,'' and couldn't believe it when he was then told he had gone too far in the opposite direction.

He told NPR music: ''I remember walking into a radio station and the guy said, 'I'm sorry, Lionel, but this record is just too black.'

''I came back with the next record, 'Easy Like Sunday Morning', and the guy said, 'OK, Lionel, now this record is perfect for pop, but it's not black enough.' So, it's just one of those things where I've kind of gone against the grain throughout my entire career.''

Regardless of the radio station's opinion, the track was a huge hit, and Lionel quickly learned not to listen to other people's opinions.

The singer - who has just released 'Tuskegee', a package of his greatest hits accompanied by country artists - added: ''If I had to have another title for this record, it would be called 'All the Songs That They Told Me Would Ruin My Career'. ''Every time they told me, 'This is not where you're supposed to be,' I just went there, just defying the laws.''