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CELEBRATING THE LIFE & LEGACY OF MUSICAL LEGEND AND ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PIONEER, LITTLE RICHARD
Saturday, May 9, 2020

Musical legend and rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, Little Richard, has passed away at age 87 due to bone cancer, his son Danny Jones Penniman confirmed to Rolling Stone. Known for his fearless flamboyance, sassy stage persona, pompadour and gender-fluid style, the “Tutti Frutti” pianist-singer was a trailblazer in his own right—inspiring the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Michael Jackson and many more.

CIRCA 1956: Musician Little Richard poses for a portrait in circa 1956. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

 

Although Richard Wayne Penniman aka Little Richard would become a rock ‘n’ roll revolutionary, his earlier days as a rambunctious child were a bit rocky. With roots in Macon, Georgia, and a below-the-bible-belt baptist upbringing, he grew up singing in the church but would later be put out on the street because of his sexuality. Little Richard overcame this setback and signed with RCA in 1951—finally charting in 1955 with his breakout hit, “Tutti Frutti.” A slew of sensational chart-topping songs, such as “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Lucille” (1957) and “Good Golly Miss Molly” (1958), would follow—rightfully earning him the nickname “The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock and Roll” and donning him one of the greatest musicians and performers of all time.

Little Richard during Little Richard in Concert at The Apollo Theater – June 3, 2006 at The Apollo in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Hal Horowitz/WireImage)

 

Little Richard has received many well-deserved accolades, including his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. He also made appearances in several films such as The Girl Can’t Help It (1956), Mister Rock and Roll (1957), The London Rock & Roll Show (1973), Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998) and many more.

1957: Musician Little Richard performs in a scene from the movie “Mister Rock And Roll” with his band in 1957. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Little Richard’s family, friends and fans alike, and his musical legacy will live on in our hearts forever.

Below are some of his greatest moments.

 

Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally 

A Scene From The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)

Good Golly Miss Molly 

Lucille 

A Scene From Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998)

A Playlist of Little Richard’s Greatest Hits 

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