- Musician Little Richard has died at the age of 87.
- His music has inspired many generations.
- Currently, his cause of death is unknown but was confirmed by his son.
Little Richard, often called the founding father of rock and roll, has sadly passed away. His son, Danny Penniman confirmed the news. His father was 87 years old, but his cause of death is currently unknown.
Little Richard is known for many of his ’50s hits including “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Many loved his flamboyant outfits and exciting performances. His songs did not hit the top 10 after 1958, but he influenced many other artists over the years.
Learn more about music legend Little Richard
Little Richard was born Richard Wayne Penniman on December 5th, 1932, in Macon, Georgia. Sadly, his father wasn’t supportive of his music, so he left home at age 13 and lived with another family. One of his friends as a kid was Otis Redding. He continued to work on music and got his first record deal in 1951.
He became Little Richard when he was 15 years old at a time when there were many popular acts with the name ‘Little’ in them. In addition, he didn’t like how people mispronounced his last name. He once said, “When I first came along, I never heard any rock & roll. 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.”
In 1956, he worked washing dishes at a Greyhound bus station to help support his family after his father was murdered. He wrote some of his most famous songs while washing dishes, including “Tutti Frutti.” He sent a rough tape of the song to Speciality Records in Chicago. It became his first hit.
Many call his music a mix of rock, boogie, gospel, and blues. He has inspired other artists such as Prince, The Beatles, and many more! In the ’80s, he even appeared in shows and movies including Miami Vice and Full House. During his long career, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys. In addition, he was one of the 10 original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his son Danny.