Little Richard one of the pioneers of the first wave of Rock N’ Roll has passed away at the age of 87.
Richard, whose real name was Richard Penniman had been in poor health for the past several years, suffering hip problems, a stroke, and a heart attack. Richard’s death has been confirmed by his son Danny Penniman.
Dick Alen who was Richard’s agent in the statement has confirmed that Little Richard passed away this morning from bone cancer in Nashville.
The pioneer began his career back in the 1940s when his early recordings with RCA Victor garnered little success. His breakthrough came when he signed to Specialty Records in 1955 releasing a run of wild and flamboyant singles as “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “The Girl Can’t Help It,” “Lucille,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” and many others singles who made him to became a star on both sides of the Atlantic.
Likewise, he was known for his unusual performances and mascara-painted eyes, clothes in bright colors, which later influenced the late singer Prince.
His songs were covered by many musicians, big star names, and bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Scorpions, and Elvis Costello. Little Richard was one of the first musicians who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Growing up in the southern United States, he embraced the rhythms of the gospel music and influence of New Orleans, making his own extravagant piano-spiced mix.
“I was born in poverty. My father had sold smuggled whiskey,” he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1970.
To sum up, The Rolling Stones were often his forerunners, spoke of him with great respect. “Little Richard drove the audience crazy. There are no words to convey that,” said Mick Jagger.