Rock Pioneer, Little Richard Dead At Age 87

by Raheem Karim
Little Richard
Little Richard

Photo: MGN Online. Little Richard

Little Richard, FLamboyant Rock and Roll Pioneer Dead

Little Richard, a flamboyant piano playing rock and roll pioneer has died at age 87. His pastor confirmed the death on Facebook and to The Associated Press. The cause of death was not immediately clear.

Richard was known cranking up the audience with his wild style vocals, bouffant hair and makeup and piano pounding performances.

Little Richard burst onto the musical scene in the 1950s and took over the airwaves with a string hit songs that got both black and white people dancing. He is credit with introducing black R&B to white America. His hits included “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Lucille,” “Jenny Jenny” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly,”

Success did not come easy for Richard for the Macon, Georgia artist. Born December 5, 1932, Little Richard was third of a dozen children and got his start singing at church where his father served as a deacon, when he wasn’t peddling moonshine at his club.

At the age of 16 his father caught him putting on his mothers makeup and kicked him out of the house. At the time being gay was frowned up on and very taboo.

Stardom finally came in 1955 when Little Richard was onstage at a Houston nightclub improvising a raunchy song he called “Tutti Frutti.”

His producer friend Robert “Bumps” Blackwell heard gold in the song and after cleaning up the lyrics they released the single and Little Richard was launched into stardom.

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In 1986, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2010, Time Magazine listed Here’s Little Richard as one of the 100 Greatest and Most Influential Albums of All Time.

His influenced generations of performers across musical genres such as James Brown, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, and so many others.

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