(CMR) Little Richard, American rock and roll pioneer has died at age 87 at his home in Tullahoma, Tennessee with his son and brother by his side after fighting a long battle with bone cancer.
Know for his ultra edgy performances that pushed the envelope back in the 1950s he wore make, flashy costumes and belted out rock and roll tunes that many considered the “devil’s music” at the time. The Beatles, Elton John, and Elvis Presley all cited him as an influence. The singer was one of the first to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
From a large Southern family, Little Richard said he sang in church to stand out from his other siblings. The third of 12 children he was born Richard Wayne Penniman was born on December 5, 1932, in Macon, Georgia. Despite that, he was thrown out of his home at age 12 but his father, a bootlegger, and night club owner.
He was then taken in by a white called named Johnson and he started performing in their club. He was called Little Richard because of his young age and the name stuck. When Richard was 19, his father was shot to death outside of his club.
Little Richard’s hit Good Golly Miss Molly made the charts in 1958. Other well-known songs include Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally. He sold more than 30 million records worldwide.
“I’ve been gay all my life and I know God is a God of love, not of hate,” he told the magazine in 1995. “How can I (put) down the fisherman when I’ve been fishing all my life?”