Music legend Little Richard has reportedly died. New reports claim the rock’n’roll originator has died this weekend leaving a historic legacy of influence and innovation behind.
On Saturday, reports emerged about Richard’s death. The Southern musician made a name for himself influencing and working with a slew of fellow entertainment icons.
The rock ‘n’ roll original was 87 years old; at this time, a cause of death has not been reported. Known for his wild, flamboyant performing style, Richard Wayne Penniman inspired young musicians all over the world. Born in Macon, Georgia—the second of 12 children—he was kicked out of his family’s home as a teenager and taken in by a white family, who ran the club where he first performed. He got his start performing jump blues, but his most famous and successful work—songs like “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly”—came in the mid-1950s. (Pitchfork)
Richard’s family confirmed his unexpected passing. There is speculation about his actual age although he’s listed as 87 years-old.
Flamboyant singer-instrumentalist Little Richard, whose high-voltage, keyboard-shattering R&B singles supplied lift-off for the ’50s rock ‘n’ roll revolution, has died. The musician, whose birth name was Richard Penniman, was 87, although some sources say he was older. His son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, but said the cause of death was unknown. (Variety)
Wait, There’s More
In the 1950’s, Richard blew up in the music scene. Little put together a bunch of epic records including his classic “Tutti Frutti” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly.”
The breakthrough came when he signed to Specialty Records in 1955, releasing a run of singles that were among the wildest and most flamboyant of the rock’n’roll era – Tutti Frutti, Long Tall Sally, Rip It Up, The Girl Can’t Help It, Lucille, Keep A-Knockin’ and Good Golly, Miss Molly, among others – and that made him a star on both sides of the Atlantic. (The Guardian)
Before You Go
Throughout the decades, Richard maintained his popularity both in the music scene and in film and television. He notably had an influence on musicians across the globe.
With a distinctive voice that ranged from robust belting to howling falsetto, Richard transfixed audiences and became an inspiration for artists including The Beatles as he transformed the blues into the feverish new style of rock ‘n’ roll alongside Fats Domino and Chuck Berry. (Daily Mail)