Rock ’n’ roll star Little Richard has died at the age of 87, the musician’s son Danny Penniman confirmed to Rolling Stone on Saturday.
The cause of death is unknown, Penniman told the magazine.
Little Richard was born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia, in 1932. He was one of 12 children ― seven boys and five girls.
The artist famed for his flamboyant style and inimitable singing enjoyed a series of hit songs in the 1950s ― from “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally” to “Good Golly Miss Molly.”
When asked by Rolling Stone in 1990 whether he believed he invented rock ’n’ roll, Little Richard replied that he was the “architect.”
“Well, let’s say it this way: When I first came along, I never heard of any rock & roll,” he said. “I only heard Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Ruth Brown and Roy Brown. Blues.”
He later noted that he drew inspiration from artists like Mahalia Jackson, Roy Brown, Marion Williams and Ruth Brown and “put it all together.”
“I really feel from the bottom of my heart that I am the inventor. If there was somebody else, I didn’t know [them], didn’t hear them, haven’t heard them. Not even to this day. So I say I’m the architect.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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