Music world pays tribute to rock and roll icon Little Richard

Danny Thompson
Contributor
CIRCA 1957: Musician Little Richard performs onstage with his band as his saxophone player Grady Gaines stands on the piano in circa 1957 in scene from the movie 'Mister Rock And Roll.' (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The biggest names in music have been paying tribute following the death of “the architect” of rock and roll Little Richard.

The Tutti Frutti singer, born Richard Penniman, died yesterday, (9 May) aged 87 after battling cancer, confirmed his son Danny Jones Penniman.

The singer was known for his flamboyant stage antics and raucous singing style - which layed the foundations of rock and roll music, influencing countless subsequent musicians.

Read more: Little Richard Dead at 87

One such musician, amongst many others, was Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger.

In a touching tribute, he said: “I’m so saddened to hear about the passing of Little Richard.

“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.”

Jagger’s Stones band mate Keith Richards added: “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!”

(L-R) Musicians Keith Richards and Little Richard. (Photo by Time Life Pictures/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

Bob Dylan also paid tribute, saying: “I just heard the news about Little Richard and I’m so grieved. He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do.

“I played some shows with him in Europe in the early nineties and got to hang out in his dressing room a lot. He was always generous, kind and humble. And still dynamite as a performer and a musician and you could still learn plenty from him.

“In his presence he was always the same Little Richard that I first heard and was awed by growing up and I always was the same little boy. Of course he’ll live forever. But it’s like a part of your life is gone.”

Elton John said: “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. Goosebumps, electricity and joy came from every pore.”

Beach Boys star Brian Wilson said: “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. Love & Mercy, Brian.”

Posting a picture on social media of The Beatles with Richard, Ringo Starr wrote: “A night to remember - Little Richard. And the boys peace and love.”

Singer Tom Jones said: “To my dear Richard,⁣ you're a true original, you broke all the rules and you weren’t afraid to show it. A magnificent talent and an inspiration to so many of us. ⁣⁣

“My heart goes out to your loved ones, RIP my friend.”