Founding father of “Rock and Roll” Little Richard, has died at 87. According to Little Richard’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, the cause of death was cancer.
Born Richard Wayne Penniman on December 5th, 1932, in Macon, Georgia, the singer/song writer became better known to the world as “Little Richard”.
Little Richard was an original pioneer of “Rock N Roll” who’s contribution of legendary songs to American music history include – “Tutti Frutti” in 1956, “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip It Up”, “Lucille” in 1957, and “Good Golly Miss Molly” in 1958.
Little Richard was also was cast in early rock and roll movies like Don’t Knock the Rock (1956) and The Girl Can’t Help It (1957).
Little Richard’s piano playing style, iconic pompadour and androgynous look inspired other legendary artists such as Prince.
Little Richard landed his first record deal, with RCA, in 1951 after performing at the Tick Tock Club in Macon and winning a local talent show.
In 1957 Little Richard began attending the Alabama Bible school Oakwood College, where he eventually became an ordained a minister. Soon after, Little Richard released a gospel set called God Is Real.
Although his stereotypical flamboyant personality resulted in speculation about his sexuality, Little Richard denounced homosexuality in the 1984 biography The Life and Times of Little Richard.
“God, Jesus, He made men, men, he made women, women, you know? And you’ve got to live the way God wants you to live. So much unnatural affection. So much of people just doing everything and don’t think about God.”Little Richard
In 1986, Little Richard was one of the 10 original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1993, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.
WATCH: Little Richard’s final performance below.