Music icon Little Richard died on Saturday at the age of 87. The cause of death was not provided, but his son confirmed the news to Rolling Stone. Hours later, director Spike Lee tweeted out a Nike commercial that Little Richard had done with Michael Jordan.
The video he posted showcased the transformation of a mild-mannered teen into one of the NBA's greatest players. The purpose was to advertise the Air Jordan brand, but Lee incorporated Aladdin's Lamp to sell the shoes. The commercial started with the young man rubbing a lamp and bringing a genie (Little Richard) into the world. "What should I wish for? Do you know, do you know, do you know?" the teen asked after the singer appeared.
Rest In Peace To One Of The True Creators Of Rock And Roll. This Is The Commercial I Directed With Little Richard And Michael Jordan, 1991. pic.twitter.com/51bEV1eYKB— Spike Lee (@SpikeLeeJoint) May 9, 2020
"I am the genie of the lamp," Little Richard said in the commercial. "I'm granting you just one wish." The iconic musician had on a genie hat, but he was dressed in black slacks, a white button-down shirt and a vest. He also donned a pair of Nike-branded genie shoes.
Little Richard promised the wish, but the teen had no idea what he wanted. A new car would present issues considering that he doesn't know how to drive. An excess of money would provide tax problems. The best course of action, according to the commercial, was for Little Richard to transform the teen into Jordan so he could dunk. Although he still had on the hat and the large glasses.
"He was a genius! I’m glad you all collaborated! You let him shine in all his majesty," one fan wrote on Twitter after watching Lee's commercial. Several others commented about how they had never seen this clip before, but they are now eternally grateful. One person even revealed that posters had been made after this commercial aired and that they owned two of them.
Little Richard first emerged on the music scene in 1956 with the widely-popular "Tutti Frutti." He then went on to release several hit songs including "Long Tall Sally," "Lucille" and "Good Golly Miss Molly." He wasn't simply limited to music, however, considering that Little Richard was featured in several films and TV shows. He appeared in The Drew Carey Show, Homeboys in Outer Space and Baywatch, among others.