Legendary rock 'n roll singer Little Richard has died at the age of 87, and fans were not prepared. Richard's son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the news to Rolling Stone, saying that he passed away early on Saturday. So far, the exact cause of Little Richard's death has not been reported.
Little Richard left fans grieving on Saturday with news of his passing. The singer was one of the most influential musicians of his era — and several eras to follow. Fans wasted no time in recalling all the barriers he broke down, the high bars he set and the paths he carved for the artists that followed throughout the 20th century. In no time, Twitter was full of eulogies for the singer.
Many fans swapped stories of Little Richard's showmanship, recalling that seeing him live was the best concert many fans remembered in their lives. Even as recently the early-2000s, many fans said he put on a remarkably energized show. Little Richard toured consistently through 2013, at which time he told Rolling Stone that he was retiring from live performances. He was 79 years old.
"I am done, in a sense, because I don't feel like doing anything right now." He said at the time. "I think my legacy should be that when I started in show business there wasn't no such thing as rock'n'roll. When I started with 'Tutti Frutti', that's when rock really started rocking."
Other fans mourned Little Richard by remarking on his incalculable impact on music and on pop culture in general. They agreed that rock 'n' roll music simply would not exist in its current form without Little Richard. They also felt that some of the biggest names of the last 70 years owed a lot to Little Richard for laying the groundwork for them.
Whatever they remembered best about him, it was clear that many fans were devastated by the news of Little Richard's passing. Here is a look at what social media is saying about the singer.
'Founding Father of Rock 'n Roll'
He was one of the founding fathers of rock ’n’ roll. https://t.co/FutoyJxupP— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) May 9, 2020
No Jimi, No Beatles No Bowie, No Bolan. NO GLAM, No Freddie, No Prince, No Elton, No Preston No Sly, No Stevie, WITHOUT Little Richard!They DON’T HAPPEN Without HIM BLAZING A TRAIL IN THE DARK in sequence, if he had his SHIRT ON AT ALL, AT THE PIANO, SCREAMING LIKE A WHITE WOMAN— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) May 9, 2020
We lost two music legends in Little Richard and Andre Harrell within the last 24 hours. 2020 is the absolute worst— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 9, 2020
It's a VERY sad morning in the world of #music with the passing of 2 legends in the industry. A #RIP to Andre Harrell and Little Richard, thank you for your vision and years of entertainment, our condolences to the families! pic.twitter.com/JzLhLgrCuE— Comic Crusaders™️ (@ComicCrusaders) May 9, 2020
"I'm a singer. I can sing anything. And that's the reason I'm the king."
RIP Little Richard pic.twitter.com/aRS9TGvGf6— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 9, 2020
I have never seen any concert as wild and astonishing as when I saw Little Richard perform at the Bottom Line in NYC.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) May 9, 2020
Aside from the legendary sounds & performances, my favorite thing about Little Richard is that he was so fearless, always. Paved the way for Black artists to fully express themselves in various ways.
Left the door open for so many after him. Grateful for his life 🕊 pic.twitter.com/v7aN5D2VAs— Beyoncé Of Marketing✨ (@JunaeBrown) May 9, 2020
I knew Little Richard more from the 90s when he was just around on a lot of projects, or performed theme music for shows like The Magic School Bus. pic.twitter.com/Z53mrJaxsN— YONA: OLD MEDIA ENTHUSIAST 🇨🇦🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈🐃 (@ThatRetro) May 9, 2020
RIP Little Richard pic.twitter.com/7BVW7YWOE6— Bryce Hayes (@nxtprodigy) May 9, 2020
God bless Little Richard.— Joe Hill (@joe_hill) May 9, 2020
“Well I may be right
And I may be wrong
But you gonna miss me when I’m gone.”https://t.co/crmEQW4Ph9
Little Richard lucille🎶 pic.twitter.com/uGBFyZCbzr— Jules Van Hellemont (@HellemontJules) May 4, 2020
Family & Friends
The loss of a true giant. My sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. https://t.co/nzTDmQtLm7— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) May 9, 2020