Little Richard is dead at age 87, his son Danny Penniman announced Saturday.
Richard Penniman was considered a founding father of rock and roll,
wailing away on piano-pumping hits in the late 1950s including “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Lucille” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Many of his songs were covered by or inspired other artists, including The Beatles, the Everly Brothers, the Kinks, Elvis Costello and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
“I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” Elton John told Rolling Stone in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else. I’m more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.”
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy at the 1993 Grammys, and was honored with the Pioneer Award by the Rythm & Blues Foundation.
Penniman told Rolling Stone that the rock and roll legend, born Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932, died on Saturday. A cause of death has not been announced.
Little Richard’s bass guitarist, Charles Glenn, tells TMZ that the singer and pianist died at his home in Tennessee surrounded by his brother, sister and son. Glenn said Richard had been sick for two months, but he couldn’t visit because of the coronavirus pandemic. (https://www.syracuse.com)