Lionel Richie has joked he's trying to sue Adele for coming out with a track titled Hello years after his '80s smash hit of the same name.

The legendary singer released his version of Hello in 1983, with people still crooning the popular line "Is it me you're looking for?" today. When Adele made her music comeback in October (15), fans immediately drew comparisons between the two songs - and if Lionel had his way, the British star would have to cough up for using 'his' word.

“You can’t use my word without my acknowledgement, thank you very much," he joked to Britain's The Sun newspaper. "I have been trying to figure out, from a legal point of view, can you own a word? So far all the lawyers have told me, ‘No’. I’ve tried... but the association is fabulous!”

But there's a cheaper way for Adele to sort out all this; a collaboration with Lionel. The Motown legend would love to team up with the 27-year-old superstar, adding: “We will meet. When she’s on tour I’ll catch her backstage.”

However, there are some differences between the stars' versions of Hello. While Lionel's is a romantic track, Adele - who has been known to sing about relationships in the past - insists her lyrics are more general.

"Hello is just about reconnecting with everyone else and myself," she recently explained to American TV host Matt Lauer.

"From the other side, I couldn't get over my guilt of leaving my kid to go and write a record and stuff like that. So getting over that - getting on the other side of that. It was just, you know; it's, in general, just hello to everyone."

Adele and her boyfriend Simon Konecki have son Angelo, three.