Little Richard passed away Saturday at the age of 87. The rock ‘n’ roll pioneer’s son Danny Jones Penniman confirmed the news to Rolling Stone, adding that the cause of death was cancer.
Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman) released a number of hits in the mid-to-late-50s including classics “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” and “Long Tall Sally.” The pianist’s flamboyant stage presence changed the art of musical performance, and bands like The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Creedence Clearwater Revival have cited him as an influence. Penniman was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 — its inaugural year. Other rock ‘n’ roll icons, including Brian Wilson and Jimmy Page, paid tribute to Little Richard on Twitter.
“I’m very sorry to hear about Little Richard. He was there at the beginning and showed us all how to rock and roll. He was a such a great talent and will be missed. Little Richard’s music will last forever,” Wilson wrote.
“RIP Little Richard, a very sad loss. My thoughts are with his loved ones,” Page tweeted. “It’s Little Richard’s songs that pioneered rock’n’roll. I got to hear him and his band at the Newport Lounge in Miami and boy were they good.”
See more tributes below.