Iconic Musician Little Richard Dies at 87

The music pioneer who changed the face of Rock N’ Roll from black and white to color, Little Richard, has died at the age of 87.According to RollingStone.com, his death was confirmed by Richard’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, adding his father died in Nashville, and that the cause of death was bone cancer.

Born Richard Wayne Penniman on December 5, 1932, in Macon, Georgia, Little Richard was the third of 12 children. His father, Bud, was a stern man who made his living selling moonshine and didn’t do much to hide his disdain for his son’s flamboyance.

At the age of 13 Richard was ordered to move out of the family home, and his relationship with his father was never repaired. When Richard was 19, his father was shot dead outside a local bar.

Like no artist before, when he came to prominence, Little Richard became known as a flamboyant, flashy dressing, energetic stage performer, piano playing rock n” roll wearing make-up, and he was Black. In the biopic of Richard’s life starring Leon, the brand of stage make-up used by the performer was pancake 31.

In 1951, according to biography.com, defining moments came when Richard caught his first major break when a performance at an Atlanta radio station yielded a record contract with RCA. But with a repertoire of mainly mild blues numbers that masked the searing vocals and piano that would come to define his rock music, Richard’s career failed to take off as he’d hoped it would.

In 1951, Richard caught his first major break when a performance at an Atlanta radio station yielded a record contract with RCA. But with a repertoire of mainly mild blues numbers that masked the searing vocals and piano that would come to define his rock music, Richard’s career failed to take off as he’d hoped it would, nonetheless his work made him an icon.

As the man who forever changed the face of rock n’ roll said best himself, “I am the originator, I am the emancipator. I am the architect of rock n’ roll.”  

We thank for for the music.  Rest in Peace Little Richard. 

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