Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard has died.
He was 87.
Little Richard, born Richard Penniman, had been in poor health for several years. His hits include ‘Tutti’ Frutti’ and ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’. His son, Danny Jones Penniman, told Rolling Stone the cause of death was cancer.
The eccentric performer was born in Georgia, the United States and was among the first group of inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Little Richard was born on December 5, 1932, in Macon, Georgia.
Twenty-one of Little Richard’s singles reached the US pop charts in Billboard magazine. Most of them were recorded from 1955 to 1957, when he found religion. He swung between the sacred and the secular for the rest of his life.
Little Richard’s religious bent and industry honors didn’t stop him from complaining that people didn’t pay him enough for his music over the years. He summarised his view in an updated edition of “Life and Times,” published in 1994:
“I am an artist. I am a star and a creator. I am the originator of this music and these songs are classics. I am sure they were hoping that I would be dead by now, but God has given me longevity, thank and praise his holy name.”