Little Richard has passed away, according to a Rolling Stone report. The highly influential pianist and singer’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed his death to RS, but said the cause of death was unknown. Little Richard was 87.
Known for songs like “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up,” Little Richard was vital in laying the ground work for rock artists and rock ‘n’ roll as a whole, getting his start in the late 1950s. He’s also famous for his wild, animated on-stage persona. He was born in Macon, Georgia but was kicked out of his family home. He was taken in by a white family who operated the very venue where he first performed for audiences.
He was covered by everyone from Elvis to Buddy Holly and inspired the likes of The Beatles, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding and Michael Jackson. His influence can be seen and felt across decades of rock and soul music.
Musicians and artists have already begun sharing remembrances and tributes to this rock legend on Twitter:
I’m very sorry to hear about Little Richard. He was there at the beginning and showed us all how to rock and roll. He was a such a great talent and will be missed. Little Richard’s music will last forever.Love & Mercy, Brian pic.twitter.com/kcak6Rf4Re
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) May 9, 2020
A couple weeks ago I randomly decided to read up on the legendary Little Richard on wiki. I learned then about how he developed The Beatles and saved The Rolling Stones pic.twitter.com/lUEvYG1Mew
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) May 9, 2020
R.I.P. Rock & Roll Legend Little Richard
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) May 9, 2020
Read: The 10 Best Little Richard Songs
Listen to a 1970 Little Richard concert below via the Paste vault.