Don’t mess with his little girl! Lionel Richie is definitely a protective papa when it comes to his youngest daughter Sofia Richie, which is why it’s not surprising that the American Idol judge slightly dissed her ex-boyfriend, pop star Justin Bieber. Lionel was discussing how difficult it was to eliminate contestants now that the singing competition has been narrowed down to the Top 10, and he took it as an opportunity to throw some subtle shade at the guy who broke his daughter’s heart.
“You know, you look at it and you think, ‘OK, if you can hit every note perfectly, why isn’t everybody a superstar?'” the 68-year-old told Us Weekly. “The answer is because it’s called a unique quality. If you look at Willie Nelson for a second, can he hit a gospel note? Um, no! And [Justin] Bieber, he doesn’t hit a high note.”
After Lionel’s diss, his American Idol co-star Katy Perry jumped in to defend the “What Do You Mean?” singer. “He hits a high note,” Katy said, “I mean, he’s extremely talented.”
This is the first time Lionel has addressed his daughter’s ex since they had a short fling back in 2016 — which only lasted for about six weeks and was extremely “hot and heavy,” according to the Daily Mail. Their relationship was a whirlwind, and they packed on the PDA as they jettied off on romantic vacations to Mexico and Japan, but ultimately Justin was the one to break things off because he wanted a casual relationship and it seemed like Sofia wanted something more serious. She even gushed about Justin in an interview with Billboard, according to People. “We have a special relationship,” she said at the time. “Justin is very easy to talk to, and that’s hard to find with people in LA.”
Now, Sofia, 19, has moved on — and she’s been dating Keeping Up With the Kardashians star Kourtney Kardashian‘s ex-boyfriend and baby daddy Scott Disick off and on for about a year. Back in November, Lionel exclusively revealed to Life & Style he was “scared to death” by the idea that his teenage daughter is dating a 34-year-old father-of-three. Watch the video below to see Scott and Sofia pack on the PDA during their romantic getaway to Mexico!