Music icon Little Richard dead at 87

Flamboyant rock ‘n’ roll singer Little Richard has died aged 87. His family confirmed his passing saying it was related to bone cancer.

Born Richard Wayne Penniman in Georgia in 1932, the performer found success  in the 1950’s with hits including Good Golly Miss Molly, Tutti Frutti, Long Tall Sally and Lucile. 

Generations of musicians have cited Little Richard as a major influence including The Beatles, Elton John and Prince. The singer is remember for music, his pounding style of playing piano, his pompadour hairstyle and androgynous dress and make-up.

During his long career Little Richard described his sexuality in many different ways. In interviews in the 1980’s he spoke out against homosexuality but in the 19990’s he said he’d been gay all his life. In his later years he made negative comments about gay and transgender people.

In the 1970’s he battled drug addiction, around the same time he also became an ordained minister of religion. In the 1980’s he worked as a celebrity marriage celebrant.

Little Richard was nicknamed The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock ‘n’ Roll, with his beat style, speed and heavier bass setting the foundations for the decades of rock music that followed.

OIP Staff


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