Little Richard will reportedly be buried in Huntsville, Alabama, after his death on May 9, a source close to the late rock legend's family told AL.com Wednesday. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer born Richard Penniman, who died earlier this month at the age of 87 due to yet unspecified causes, will reportedly be buried 11 a.m. May 20 at Oakwood University’s Oakwood Memorial Gardens.
The founding father of rock, whose influence can be seen in contemporaries such as Prince, The Beatles and Elton John, has been remembered as a true visionary in the days following his death. The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson wrote 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."
KISS rocker Gene Simmons added on his own social media, "Sadly, Little Richard passed away today. A founding Father of Rock And Roll, his contributions simply can’t be overstated. I had the honor of meeting Richard in his later years and was awed by his presence. He told me, 'I am the architect of Rock And Roll.' Amen! ..Rest In Peace."
Little Richard acknowledged his influence on the genre in a 1990 interview with Rolling Stone, calling himself "the architect" behind the music that so shook the world. "When I started singing [rock & roll], I sang it a long time before I presented it to the public, because I was afraid they wouldn’t like it. I had never heard nobody do it, and I was scared," he said at the time. "I was inspired by Mahalia Jackson, Roy Brown and a gospel group called Clara Ward and the Ward Singers and a guy by the name of Brother Joe May. I got the holler that you hear me do – 'woo-ooh-ooh' – from a lady named Marion Williams. And this thing you hear me do – 'Lucille-uh' – I got that from Ruth Brown I used to like die way she’d sing, 'Mama-uh, he treats your daughter mean.' I put it all together."
He added, "I really feel from the bottom of my heart that I am the inventor. If there was somebody else, I didn’t know than, didn’t hear them, haven’t heard them. Not even to this day. So I say I’m the architect."