Little Richard, is known for being a founding father of the longstanding genre of rock & roll. He was the original “rock star” who wore whose flamboyant gear and a sound that birthed a new art form. Little Richard’s influence in popular music is undeniable and the music industry knew this as he was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He died at the age of 87 as announced by his son, Danny Jones Penniman. He confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone Magazine. The cause of death was bone cancer, the musician’s lawyer Bill Sobel told Rolling Stone.
“When I first came along, I never heard any rock & roll,” he told Rolling Stone in 1990. “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 never heard nobody do it, and I was scared.”
Bill Sobel, Little Richard’s lawyer for more than three decades, told the AP in an email that the musician died of bone cancer at a family home in Tullahoma, Tenn.
“He was not only an iconic and legendary musician, but he was also a kind, empathetic and insightful human being,” Sobel said.
His legend grew as the decades after his initial debut in the world of music occurred and was featured throughout the years on classic television shows such as Martin as seen below!
The performer had been in declining health for years. He suffered a heart attack in 2013 and six years earlier, while still touring, needed the assistance of a helper and a cane to reach the stage.
The world reacts to the passing of one of the greatest musicians ever in the industry.
What u immediately did findin out Lil Richard passed…. Lord there’ll never be another. pic.twitter.com/zhPHajfb3m
— Luther Vandals (@1CreativeWeirdo) May 9, 2020
LIL RICHARD TOO?!
2020 NEEDS A DAMN RESET BUTTON. 😩
— tiffani 🏝🍯 (@tiffanicvd) May 9, 2020
— Brando Calrissian (@MuseMan82) May 9, 2020
Throw this whole fucking year out
An innovator, a legend, an original
1 of 1
Lil Richard pic.twitter.com/xI4UT2f4Eo
— Duffie (@BlkFaceWhtPlace) May 9, 2020
“I am the innovator. I am the originator. I am the emancipator. I am the architect of rock 'n' roll!”.
— Rock N Roll Pictures (@RockNRollPics) May 9, 2020
Andre AND Lil Richard?! pic.twitter.com/Cyty61nOMg
— A’Driane Fetched My Bolt Cutters Nieves (@addyeB) May 9, 2020
RIP "Little Richard"
Jimi Hendrix was a member of Little Richard's backing bands "Royal Company" and "Upsetters." In addition to touring, Hendrix recorded on the "I Don't Know What You've Got But It's Got Me" & "Dancing All Around The World" singles#LittleRichard #JimiHendrix pic.twitter.com/UjK3KeyYjz
— Jimi Hendrix (@JimiHendrix) May 9, 2020
Artists/bands influenced by Little Richard:
The Rolling Stones
Jerry Lee Lewis
The Everly Brothers
and, through them, everyone
— Matthew Cowart (@mcowartlaw) May 9, 2020
Little Richard dies and "Jerry Lee Lewis" trends on twitter, and white people continue to question the existence of systemic racism.
RIP Richard Wayne Penniman, a genius before your time. pic.twitter.com/e0T9sNhtbQ
— Lisa Brenner (@LisaBrenner2) May 9, 2020
Tutti Fruiti was actually a song about gay sex that Richard changed the lyrics for for the mainstream. You don't get more salacious than that. And he was doing that in FIFTIES. They yelping, screaming and hollering on record. WAY ahead of his time.
— Aaron T. Starks 🌊 (@StarkyLuv73) May 9, 2020