Little Richard thrilled audiences around the world using his own brand of infectious enthusiasm, with hits like Tutti-Frutti and Long Tall Sally, has passed away at the age of 87.
Little Richard Has Died
Richard Wayne Penniman was born on December 5, 1932, in Macon, Georgia. He traveled around during those early years with legendary star of vaudeville Spencer “Snake” Anthony. One of his early bands was made up of future music legends like the future Godfather of Soul himself, but then-unknown, James Brown. Others included 14-year-old keyboardist Billy Preston and rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix.
On the personal side, Little Richard was married once — to Ernestine Campbel from 1959 until they divorced in 1963. The two shared a child — a son named Danny Jones Penniman.
His music influenced many other future legends. The Beatles reportedly list him among their inspirations, and he toured England in the early 1960s with them. According to his IMDB page, producer Nile Rodgers revealed that Little Richard was the initial inspiration for David Bowie’s biggest hit album, Let’s Dance, back in 1983. Of Elvis Presley, he said, “Elvis may be the King of Rock and Roll, but I am the Queen.”
But he wasn’t content to only do music. The self-proclaimed ‘Architect of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ also dabbled in the acting world, including two daytime soaps on two different networks.
Fans of One Life to Live may recall that dancing-enthusiasts Bo Buchanan (Robert S. Woods) and Nora (Hillary B. Smith) ended up having him at their wedding, while over on The Young and the Restless, he performed at the wedding of Gloria (Judith Chapman) and Jeffrey (Ted Shackleford).
Weddings seemed to be a theme for him as he presided over the 1987 marriage of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas. Soap Hub sends condolences to the family as well as fans of Little Richard during this sad time.