Little Richard, with that pompadour hairstyle, huge smile, and rollicking rock and roll sound he delivered to the world in the ’50s and ’60s passed away at the age of 87 on May 9th. He was a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer who made a lasting and important impression on future artists and the world of music. In later years, Richard used his charisma and charm as a pastor, officiating the weddings of Cyndi Lauper, Steven Van Zandt, Demi Moore with Bruce Willis and Tom Petty with Dana York.
Enjoy these 20 comments from some esteemed fans. –Jona
Mick Jagger: “He was the biggest inspiration of my early teens and his music still has the same raw electric energy when you play it now as it did when it first shot through the music scene in the mid 50’s. When we were on tour with him, I would watch his moves every night and learn from him how to entertain and involve the audience and he was always so generous with advice to me. He contributed so much to popular music. I will miss you Richard, God bless.”
Elton John wrote: “Without a doubt – musically, vocally and visually – he was my biggest influence. Seeing him live in my teens was the most exciting event in my life at that point.”
Bob Dylan tweeted about Richard’s death, ” He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy.”
Prince once said, “Little Richard’s influence on music cannot be understated. He didn’t just open doors, he smashed entire walls to pieces to make way for all who would come after him.”
Brian Wilson tweeted, “He was there at the beginning and showed us all how to rock and roll. He was such a great talent and will be missed. Little Richard’s music will last forever.”
Joan Jett: “He was THE ORIGINAL GLAM ROCKER, and he took a lot of abuse for being in the first wave. He forged a path for all of us who followed.”
Bryan Adams: “Thank you for the amazing inspiration. Good Golly Miss Molly is probably one of the best vocal performances in rock and roll ever. Nobody could sing like him.”
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page tweets, “My thoughts are with his loved ones. It’s Little Richard’s songs that pioneered rock’n’roll. “I got to hear him and his band at the Newport Lounge in Miami and boy were they good.
Bette Midler: “#LittleRichard was a genius, pure and simple. He paved the way for (code for he was ripped off by) so many artists. Watch his YouTube performances to see what I mean. I met him on ‘Down and Out in Beverly Hills’, in which he was hilarious. What a legacy. God bless you, Richard.”
Star Trek’s, George Takai: “Little Richard, who was known for his flamboyant and energetic performances, has died. This old “Tutti Fruitti” will miss his style and flair. Play the keys among the stars now, sir. You will be missed.
Cyndi Lauper: He married my husband and I. He was really one of the truely great rock and roll singers and one of the rock and roll pioneers. He will be missed.”
Demi Moore: “Remembering #LittleRichard today… Bruce (Willis) and I were so lucky and honored to have him officiate our wedding back in 1987 — thankful for the memories. Rest easy.”
Springsteen guitarist, Steven Van Zandt: “The man who invented It. Elvis popularized it. Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard embodied the Spirit of RocknRoll. Maureen and I were so honored being the first marriage he conducted.”
Whitesnake’s David Coverdale: “HUGE Influence & Inspiration on how I started projecting my voice…HUGE…Still Astonishes Me When I Hear Him Sing.”
Spike Lee wrote, “Rest In Peace To One Of The True Creators Of Rock And Roll.”
Keith Richards: “So sad to hear that my old friend Little Richard has passed. There will never be another!!! He was the true spirit of Rock’n Roll!”
Actress, Viola Davis: “The Originator. The innovator. The musician, performer who influenced generations of artists….has left. You were AWESOME #LittleRichard!!! Your talent will reverberate forever. Well done sir. Rest well.”
Ringo Starr: “God bless little Richard one of my all-time musical heroes. Peace and love to all his family. God bless little Richard one of my all-time musical heroes. Peace and love to all his family. God bless little Richard one of my all-time musical heroes. Peace and love to all his family.
Michelle Obama: “With his exuberance, his creativity, and his refusal to be anything other than himself, Little Richard laid the foundation for generations of artists to follow. We are so lucky to have had him. Sending all my love to his family and friends today.”
Kiss’s Gene Simmons said, “Little Richard…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.”
From Charlie Daniels, “So many musical memories of this unique talent and we were honored to have him at the Volunteer Jam one year. He was one of a kind. Rest in peace Richard Penniman.”
Jimi Hendrix was a member of Little Richard’s backing bands “Royal Company” and “Upsetters.” He recorded on a couple of Richard’s singles.