Lionel Richie's children ''scare [him] to death''.

The 69-year-old singer has three grown-up kids - son Miles, 24, and daughters Nicole, 37, and Sofia, 20 - and he admitted he still tries to ''embarrass them as much as'' possible, even as they get older.

He told People magazine: ''With my kids, I know their job is to completely scare me to death. And they're doing a great job, by the way.

''I told this to Nicole the other day, my job is to embarrass them as much as I could, as long as I'm here. They're trying to do the same to me, so I think it's an equal swap right now.''

While Nicole - whom he adopted with first wife Brenda Harvey Richie - has a career across TV and fashion, both Sofia and Miles, from his relationship with ex-wife Diane Alexander, are also seeing success in modelling.

And though each of the three stars have had their own issues with life in the public eye, Lionel knows he also caused his parents to raise an eyebrow when he decided to embark on a music career during his university days.

The 'All Night Long' hitmaker added: ''I remember the look on my parents' faces when I tried explaining to them that we're The Commodores, and we're the Black Beatles, and we're gonna take over the world.

''It's the same look I have on my face when Nicole, Miles and Sophia come to me with their ideas.

''I kind of use that as my centering point before I completely go off... I'm gonna have to kind of sit still at this point and kind of let it happen to me as it happened to my parents.''