The music industry today lost Richard Wayne Penniman, known worldwide as Little Richard, at the age of 87. Acknowledged as a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, he had massive hits, including “Tutti Frutti,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” “Long Tall Sally,” and “Lucille.” Lemmy’s from Motörhead gave credit to him for inspiring his vocals, David Bowie said he was his inspiration, and Mick Jagger called him his first idol.
When the news broke, a number of the biggest names in music would take to social media to pay tribute to Little Richard, including Gene Simmons, Jimmy Page, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, and Michael Sweet, as you can read below.
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. Gene Simmons
RIP Little Richard, a very sad loss. 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.Jimmy Page
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.Bob Dylan
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 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.Mick Jagger
I grew up on the music of Little Richard. He was one of my fathers favorites and therefore he became one of mine. He was an amazing musician, writer and singer who always delivered a song with an unmatched level of energy and conviction. He was also one of a kind in terms of personality. A true innovator. My dad met him once and Little Richard said to him “I bet you drive all those little girls wild” – true story! We would watch his videos often throughout the years and we loved his spirit. He was definitely a huge influence within The Sweet household. May God bless you Little Richard and rest well.Michael Sweet
Little Richard also had a connection to the pro wrestling business, being the inspiration for Marc Mero’s “Johnny. B. Badd” character in WCW that Dusty Rhodes created, and was Jane Fonda’s, the then-wife of WCW owner Ted Turner’s favorite wrestler. Mero would tweet the below on Twitter.
RIP Little Richard was the influence behind the Johnny B. Badd character in WCW Wrestling. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I enjoyed being the character Johnny B. Badd. He would say about me, “He ain’t as pretty as me!” Oh Hush Johnny!Marc Mero
Also, Little Richard would sing “America The Beautiful! at WrestleMania X, and WWE remembering him on their website and through a tweet.
WWE is saddened to learn that Little Richard, The Founding Father of Rock and Roll who performed a moving rendition of “America the Beautiful” at WrestleMania X, passed away today at age 87. WWE