Rock 'N' Roll Star Little Richard Has Died Aged 87
Rock 'n' roll pioneer Little Richard has passed away aged 87.
The music legend, whose real name was Richard Penniman - had been in poor health for several years, suffering hip problems, a stroke and a heart attack.
His son Danny Penniman confirmed the pioneer's death to Rolling Stone, but said the cause of death was unknown.
Taking to Twitter, fans paid tribute to the icon, including a poignant post from American singer songwriter Steven Van Zandt who wrote: "RIP Little Richard. The man who invented Rock and Roll. Elvis popularized it. Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard was the archetype.
"Maureen and I were so honored being the first marriage he conducted. We were lucky to know him. He lives forever in the Underground Garage."
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Although he never hit the top 10 again after 1958, Little Richard's influence was massive and quite frankly, influenced everybody.
The Beatles, Stones, Elton, Everly Brothers, The Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, The Scorpions, Prince, EVERYBODY. pic.twitter.com/Lt3WaBa5rR
- Eric Alper :headphones: (@ThatEricAlper) May 9, 2020
Little Richard was the firecracker who set it all off. Right there at rock'n'roll's Big Bang, this ungovernable force transcending race, gender and sexuality. Literally a screaming queen. I met him once and it was like touching the hand of God. We owe him everything. RIP (it up). pic.twitter.com/C0IEjKoJZp
- Simon Price (@simon_price01) May 9, 2020
During an interview with Rolling Stone back in 1990, Little Richard was asked whether he invented rock and roll to which he said: "Well, let's say it this way: When I first came along, I never heard of any rock & roll," before adding: "When I started singing [rock & roll], I sang it a long time before I presented it to the public, because I was afraid they wouldn't like it. I had never heard nobody do it, and I was scared.
"I really feel from the bottom of my heart that I am the inventor. If there was somebody else, I didn't know than, didn't hear them, haven't heard them. Not even to this day. So I say I'm the architect."
Little Richard scored a huge number of chart successes over the course of the 50s with songs including 'Long Tall Sally', 'Rip It Up', 'Lucille' and 'Good Golly Miss Molly' which all became classics.
Featured Image Credit: PA