According to People, Lionel revealed to reporters at an "American Idol" event Wednesday the tough career advice he offered his 21-year-old daughter when she first expressed interest in following in his footsteps: "I told her, 'I wish you lots of failure, young.'"
"We're in a business where it's how you recover and 'yes, yes, yes' does not feel terrible, so you have to get smacked in the face," he explained. "I said, 'You're going to have a little bit more of a different time because you're coming from a family where they expect a little bit more.'"
Lionel -- who's also dad to Nicole Richie, 38, and Miles Richie, 25 -- went on to share an early memory of his oldest daughter freezing under the pressure of being the child of a huge musician.
"When Nicole was about 4 years old, she went on a talent show," he recalled. "She's about to go on to do her little act and they said, 'And now we have Lionel Richie's daughter' and she froze. She said, 'Dad I don't want to be here.' I remember that being, what a terrifying moment."
The four-time Grammy winner said the three-pronged advice he's always given his kids is: "Do your best, give them attitude and kill it."
"She's got the attitude," he said of Sofia, adding that all of his kids "have great attitudes" when it comes to working in the entertainment industry. "She sings too. I'm so excited about her. They're all taking chances and I want them to do it now. Sofia's doing fabulous right now."
However, the dad advice doesn't go beyond career, as Lionel explained he steers clear of his kids' personal lives. "You can't step in there. It just doesn't work," he said. "If you're a parent, you'll understand."