Little Richard dead at 87: Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer cause of death was cancer

Rock 'n' Roll legend Little Richard
Little Richard in 2017. Rock ‘n’ Roll legend dead at 87. Pic credit: Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN)/YouTube

Little Richard, a pioneer of Rock and Roll music, has died at the age of 87. Richard’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed his death, according to Rolling Stone.

Charles Glenn, Richard’s former bass guitarist, also confirmed his death.

Little Richard reportedly died at his home in Tennesee surrounded by members of his family, including his brother, sister, and son.

Little Richard cause of death was cancer

Danny Penniman told Rolling Stone that the rock legend died from cancer.

Charles Glenn told TMZ that Richard died after he’d been sick for two months. He said he last spoke with Richard on March 27. Richard wanted Glenn to visit him but Glenn said that he couldn’t due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Richard’s death comes after he suffered a stroke and a heart attack in 2013. He revealed that he self-medicated with baby aspirin and his doctors told him the medication might have saved his life.

However, Richard believed that his life was spared through divine intervention.

Richard also previously suffered hip problems and underwent hip replacement surgery in 2009.

Tributes pour in on Twitter

Fans and music stars have been sharing glowing tributes to the rock legend on social media, including Twitter.

Little Richard’s death comes after the former Bad Company lead vocalist Brian Howe died from cardiac arrest at 66.

Little Richard bio

Little Richard, whose real name was Richard Wayne Penniman, was born in Macon, Georgia in December 1932. He was the third of 12 siblings.

His father was a moonshiner who traded in bootleg whiskey.

Richard clashed with his dad, who accused him of homosexuality. He left home at the age of 13 and moved in with a local family.

Richard had taken an interest in music early in life. He sang and played piano in church before he became a professional musician. His music was influenced by his years in the church.

He was introduced to R&B, blues, and country music, after leaving home. His music career took off in 1951 when he signed with RCA, but he got his big break in 1955 when he signed with Art Rupe’s Specialty Records.

Richard quickly established his distinctive rock and roll style and his first hit single, Tutti Frutti, was released in 1956. The flamboyant piano-playing rock star, known for his shrieks and wails, rose to prominence on the rock scene in the late 1950s.

He was best known for hits such as Tutti-Frutti, Long Tall Sally, Rip It Up, Send Me Some Lovin, Lucille, and Good Golly Miss Molly.

Little Richard’s music influenced and inspired other rock legends who came after him, including the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and The Rolling Stones.

He appeared in a few rock movies, including Don’t Knock the Rock (1956), The Girl Can’t Help It (1956), and Mister Rock ‘n’ Roll (1957).

Richard also appeared in several TV shows, including Strictly Come Dancing, Better Call Saul, and The Righteous Gemstones, according to IMDb.

Richard announced his retirement from rock music in 1957 to dedicate himself to Christian ministry and gospel music. He enrolled at a bible school in Alabama and was ordained as a minister. He released his first gospel album, God is Real, in 1959.

He returned to rock music in 1964, but by then the rock music scene has moved on to other stars.

Richard was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In  1993, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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