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Little Richard dead; Rock and roll legend was 87

Little Richard
Posted at 10:35 AM, May 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-09 11:09:05-04

Rock and roll legend Little Richard died Saturday morning, his pastor and close friend Bill Minson said. He was 87.

Little Richard, considered to be the founding father of rock and roll, died at his Tennessee home, TMZ reported. His bass guitarist, Charles Glenn, told TMZ he had been ill for two months.

Richard's son, Danny Penniman, told Rolling Stone the cause of death was unknown.

Born Richard Wayne Penniman, Little Richard burst onto the music scene in 1956 with the hit song "Tutti Frutti."

Known for his piercing wail, pounding piano and towering pompadour, he irrevocably altered popular music while introducing black R&B to white America.

The trailblazing rocker helped shatter the color line on the music charts, joining Chuck Berry and Fats Domino in bringing “race music” into the mainstream.

Little Richard sold more than 30 million records worldwide, and his influence on other musicians was equally staggering, from the Beatles and Otis Redding to Creedence Clearwater Revival and David Bowie. His musical legacy also includes “Long Tall Sally” to “Good Golly Miss Molly.”