Little Richard, the trailblazer who is known as a founding father of rock ‘n roll, passed away on May 9 in Nashville, TN at 87 from bone cancer.
Little Richard was born Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932 in Macon, Georgia. By the age of 14, Little Richard was inspired to pursue his dream of being a professional musician, thanks to a chance encounter with musical legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who heard him singing and invited him to play during one of her shows. He did such a good job that she paid him for his performance.
Little Richard solidified his legacy during the 1950’s when we crafted a string of hits including, “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Lucille,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Richard is nicknamed “The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock and Roll.”
In 1957, Richard quit rock music and began recording gospel. He recorded his album, “God is Real,” in 1959. However, he returned to his beloved rock ‘n roll in 1964.
He was one of the original inductees into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in ’93, and got the Pioneer Award from the Rythm & Blues Foundation. “Tutti Frutti” was also included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2010.