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Rock 'N' Roll Legend Little Richard Dead At 87

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By Whitney Vasquez

The pioneer of Rock 'N' Roll Little Richard has passed away. Rolling Stone confirmed his death through his son, Danny Penniman, who told the outlet his father died on Saturday, but the cause of death is not known at this time. However, his bass guitarist, Charles Glenn, opened up about his passing to TMZ revealing Little Richard had been sick for "2 months." According to Charles, the musician lost his life in his Tennesse home surrounded by his brother, sister, and son.

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Known For His Over The Top Persona:

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Known for his over the top personality and blending the gender gap with his joyful spirit and extravagant clothing, Little Richard was responsible for rock classics like “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally," “Rip It Up,” Lucille,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly,” just to name a few.

Little Richard's career didn't go without controversy. He was often loved and ridiculed for his hyper-sexual lyrics, wild key ensembles on the piano, and of course, his clothing. Elton John once credited the iconic musician for helping him find his persona in the entertainment world. “I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it,” he told Rolling Stone during an interview in 1973. “I didn’t ever want to be anything else."

The Pioneer Of Rock 'N' Roll:

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When it came to the piano, Elton John considered himself "more of a Little Richard stylist than a Jerry Lee Lewis, I think. Jerry Lee is a very intricate piano player and very skillful, but Little Richard is more of a pounder.”

His first number one hit was “Tutti Frutti" in 1956 and the hits just kept coming from there until 1958 with “Good Golly Miss Molly." He never had another #1 hit after that. However, some of music's royalty has covered his endless smash hits like The Beatles who covered “Long Tall Sally." Even their own song “I’m Down” paid tribute to Little Richard's edgy deep-shredded vocals.

He Paved The Way For Other Artists:

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Everyone from Elvis Costello to the Everly Brothers has covered Little Richard's hits at some point of their careers. Little Richard opened the door for big greats like Elton John and Prince's extravagant stage personas. He even addressed this issue in an interview with the late Joan Rivers in 1989. “Prince is the Little Richard of his generation," he told her at the time. Looking at the camera, he turned his focus to Prince and teased, “I was wearing purple before you was wearing it!”

R.I.P.

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