Rock N Roll Originator Little Richard Has Died at Age 87

Arguably the architect of the Rock music genre that spawned Rock N Roll as a cultural phenomenon, Little Richard, has passed away. He was 87 years old. The musician’s son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone but said the cause of death was unknown. Born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia in 1932, Richard’s incredible songwriting, unmatchable singing voice, and flamboyant androgynous, yet taboo-shattering mix of sexual energy and religious music in his personality became the playbook for all young rockers to follow. Rolling Stone Magazine eloquently said his “fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form.” His influence can be felt from The Beatles, to The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Elton John, Billy Joel, Keith Emerson, KISS, Motörhead, MotörheadLed Zeppelin, Tom Jones, Van Morrison, as far back as Elvis, and even into the early stages of Heavy Metal with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Pentagram, his musical touch will be eternal. Starting a string of hits to start his career with ‘Tutti Frutti’, ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘Rip It Up’ all in 1956,’Lucille’, ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ those early hits shaped generations of fans. We send out sympathy to Little Richard’s family, friends, and fans at this time.

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