WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Rock legend Little Richard succumb to bone cancer at the age of 87 as confirmed by his agent.
- Richard was most popularly known with his unique looks and signature song, “Tutti Frutti.”
- The rock icon remained touring for decades and was one of the first recipients of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognition.
One of rock ‘n’ roll’s pioneers and iconic musicians, Little Richard, has passed away at the age of 87.
While the cause of his death was not initially disclosed, his son confirmed his death.
Later on the same day, Dick Alen, Little Richard’s agent, reported to People the legendary singer’s cause of death was bone cancer.
In a statement, Alen said that the 87-year-old Richard was living with his brother in Nashville when he departed, noting that the musical icon has battled with the disease for many years.
Little Richard’s series of hit songs still lived today, and many artists even cover it, including versions recorded by other big names in the industry such as Everly Brothers, The Beatles, and Creedence Clearwater Revival, to name a few.
Hits from the late 50s such as “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Lucille,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly” is considered rock’s timeless classics.
Richard’s style as a performer has the signature loud, screams, and intense singing that captured fans in that era. His epicene look of puffed-up hair, heavy makeup, and capes dress also became his label.
Born on December 5, 1932, in Macon, GA, Richard Wayne Penniman was one of 12 children and was heavily influenced by church music as some uncles were ministers.
However, Little Richard did not get the support from his father Bud about his music and style, forcing the future icon to leave home at a tender age of 13. He went into living with the family of his friend in Macon.
In 1951, Penniman had his first recording deal with RCA following his triumph on a local talent show. The early stages of his career though, were not successful, but he soon finds himself immersed with the raw sound of rock ‘n roll.
Richard then sent a demo tape of Tutti Frutti to Chicago’s Specialty Records, and the label got interested. He stayed with the label and found success with Specialty’s ascendancy into the music scene when the rock ‘n roll genre was starting.
Little Richard has developed into a teen idol, and he has also starred into rock ‘n’ roll-themed movies such as Don’t Knock the Rock in 1956, and The Girl Can’t Help It in 1957.
His career was put on a hiatus when he entered the Alabama Bible college to become an ordained minister. In 1959, he released the gospel record God is Real.
Having a little success with the newfound genre, Little Richard returned to his rock ‘n’ roll persona in 1964.
Stayed touring for decades, he was inducted to the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He was also awarded Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1993 Grammys.