Little Richard: Questlove, Brian Wilson, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Others Pay Tribute to ‘King of Rock & Roll’
Following news of Little Richard’s death at the age of 87, artists turned to social media Saturday to pay tribute to the founding father of rock & roll.
“The King Of Rock And Roll. Zero Questions,” Questlove wrote on Instagram. “Journalists Do Your Job. Not ARCHITECT not PIONEER. not HITMAKER. This man was literally THE BLUEPRINT of all the world took from. LITTLE RICHARD is THE TRUE KING. LONG LIVE THE KING.”
“I’m very sorry to hear about Little Richard,” Brian Wilson tweeted. “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.”
Ian Gillan of Deep Purple posted the following sentiment to his website: “Little Richard, the great Little Richard has left the building. One of my greatest heroes has died, but he remains in my body and soul.”
“‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ played a million times in my house when I was little kid in the Fifties,” Sir Rod Stewart wrote on Twitter. “It was my big brother’s 78. It laid out the rock and roll road for me, which I gladly followed.”
Steven Van Zandt tweeted, “RIP Little Richard. The man who invented Rock and Roll. Elvis popularized it. Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard was the archetype. Maureen and I were so honored being the first marriage he conducted. We were lucky to know him. He lives forever in the Underground Garage.”
Fellow rock pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis said in a statement to Rolling Stone, “It is with a heavy heart that I ask for prayers for the family of my lifelong friend and fellow Rocker ‘Little Richard.’ He will live on always in my heart with his amazing talent and his friendship! He was one of a kind and I will miss him dearly. God Bless his family and fans. Rest In Peace, my friend.”
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“Sadly, Little Richard passed away today,” Gene Simmons wrote. “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.”
Chuck D said in a statement to Rolling Stone, “Little Richard : No NOT him = None of THIS. We still ROCK on the lava of his volcanic explosion in the 1950s. I wrote ‘Fight The Power’ with him in mind, honoring his, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis’ amazing gigs. I got the chance to interview Little Richard once and he was awesome.”
Nile Rodgers mourned “the loss of a true giant,” while the Kinks’ Dave Davies praised the artist who was “an immense inspiration for me.”
See more tributes to Little Richard below:
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. pic.twitter.com/JXgahhJAfk
— Jimmy Page (@JimmyPage) May 9, 2020
I was once asked, “If u could meet one person, who would it be?” I always said Little Richard. Because, to me, he was rock & roll’s most joyous, rebellious innovator.
Thank u for planting that seed, Richard. The world is a much happier place thanks to ur music.#RIPLittleRichard pic.twitter.com/kiq2VOZs8O
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) May 9, 2020
RIP "Little Richard"
Jimi Hendrix was a member of Little Richard's backing bands "Royal Company" and "Upsetters." In addition to touring, Hendrix recorded on the "I Don't Know What You've Got But It's Got Me" & "Dancing All Around The World" singles#LittleRichard #JimiHendrix pic.twitter.com/UjK3KeyYjz
— Jimi Hendrix (@JimiHendrix) May 9, 2020
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.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 9, 2020
RIP Little Richard. The man who invented Rock and Roll. Elvis popularized it. Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard was the archetype. Maureen and I were so honored being the first marriage he conducted. We were lucky to know him. He lives forever in the Underground Garage. https://t.co/D8NwRKcshi
— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) May 9, 2020
A couple weeks ago I randomly decided to read up on the legendary Little Richard on wiki. I learned then about how he developed The Beatles and saved The Rolling Stones pic.twitter.com/lUEvYG1Mew
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) May 9, 2020
I met Little Richard when I was 13 or 14 at Aunt Kizzy’s in Marina Del Ray. The advice he gave me is invaluable. He was such a class act and I will never forget the time I sat at his table and he talked to me like I was his little bro. RIP Little Richard
— Tevin Campbell (@tevincampbelll) May 9, 2020
One of the coolest riffs The best backbeat in the world Little Richard was an immense inspiration for me, love the man #riplittlerichard – Lucille (1957) [Long Version, High Quality Sound] https://t.co/VIAVy7boDF via @YouTube
— Dave Davies (@davedavieskinks) May 9, 2020
Little Richard was one of the original rock 'n' rollers– 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. pic.twitter.com/LKTxaPa2S2
— Joan Jett (@joanjett) May 9, 2020
If one image could claim to sum up the spirit of rock'n'roll, it's this one. So long, Little Richard #Awopbopaloobopawopbamboom! pic.twitter.com/kudI4WWpqP
— Billy Bragg (@billybragg) May 9, 2020
Just got word that Little Richard has passed away.
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
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) May 9, 2020
No Jimi, No Beatles No Bowie, No Bolan. NO GLAM, No Freddie, No Prince, No Elton, No Preston No Sly, No Stevie, WITHOUT Little Richard!They DON’T HAPPEN Without HIM BLAZING A TRAIL IN THE DARK in sequence, if he had his SHIRT ON AT ALL, AT THE PIANO, SCREAMING LIKE A WHITE WOMAN
— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) May 9, 2020
“Wasn’t I wonderful?!” — Little Richard, after telling him I loved his show when I met him in the ‘90s. Yes. Yes, you were. Long live Little Richard! pic.twitter.com/ziiVNo4Phh
— Jeff Tweedy (@JeffTweedy) May 9, 2020
Little Richard had quite a few great Muscle Shoals musicians in his band for a long time. Those guys were my heroes, and I felt so proud when I saw Richard in concert with my friends backing him up. The father and true king of rock and roll, if you ask me.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) May 9, 2020
God bless little Richard one of my all-time musical heroes. Peace and love to all his family. 😎✌️🌟❤️🎵🎶💕☮️ pic.twitter.com/H2lzKbX3tm
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) May 9, 2020
In the late 1980s, I was walking down Hollywood Blvd, a black limo drove by slowly, Little Richard waved at us from the back window with a crazy look on his face. A giant in Rock and Roll music.
— Krist Novoselić (@KristNovoselic) May 9, 2020
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 served soul food brunch to Little Richard every Sunday for a year while waitressing at Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch in LA. I was a college student. He tipped me a crisp $100 bill each week on a $75 breakfast with friends. This was 30 years ago. Helped me so much. God rest his soul. https://t.co/L0vo1tPdBv
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 9, 2020
R.I.P. Little Richard. I got to meet the icon and fellow Maconite at the opening of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Macon back in 1996, and he didn’t disappoint. Full of life and energy, he was truly one of a kind.
— Mike Mills 🌿 (@m_millsey) May 9, 2020
Gone but never forgotten. A rock giant.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 9, 2020
Little Richard – It Ain't Whatcha Do, 1965.
Oh. James Marshall Hendrix left-handed on guitar.
Put some respeck on the creators. 'Do it well or not at all.' Periodt. pic.twitter.com/IULu6ABfZo
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) May 9, 2020
So sad Little Richard passed away. 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💜🙏🏻🌷
— Cyndi Lauper (@cyndilauper) May 9, 2020
I reached out to the legends legend
Little Richard……he accepted.
When he arrived in the studio, he made all of us feel like little kids. He played, he sang, he laughed and told us stories.
— Jon Bon Jovi (@jonbonjovi) May 9, 2020
Absolutely heartbroken this morning at also hearing the news of the passing of my bro & friend, the great Little Richard. From our connection through our mutual mentor, Bumps Blackwell, to recording “Money Is” & “Do It To It” for the $ soundtrack, to…https://t.co/jeHNYYobEP pic.twitter.com/aEJEQVuNN9
— Quincy Jones (@QuincyDJones) May 9, 2020
LITTLE RICHARD Is A Cornerstone In The Very Foundation Of Rock & Roll. An Icon. A Songwriter And Performer With A Personality To Match. RIP Superstar. pic.twitter.com/Sdl6Yh59ex
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) May 9, 2020
I interviewed Little Richard some yrs ago he was awesome. There hasn’t been anything close to his volcanic explosion of talent into forming Rock and Roll in the 1950s. I knew Andre Harrell and first met him mopping a HarlemWorld floor in 80, worked with his artists. Rest in Beats pic.twitter.com/nxFzwMBXWX
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) May 9, 2020
Little Richard is worshipped by anyone who loves rock and roll. He officiated Tom’s wedding to Dana York and having him there that day filled him and everyone in attendance with joy, awe and delight. He will be sorely missed by the music community. ♥️ to his family pic.twitter.com/tnCj0qRkpi
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) May 9, 2020
In the world of music, it doesn’t get much better than Little Richard.
We have lost a musical giant.
Thank you for the joy and passion that your music brought to us all. May you rest in power.https://t.co/da5ulArmMD
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 9, 2020
Little Richard was a performer so riveting, so extraordinary, that #JimiHendrix was his sideman and #JamesBrown his opening act. THANKYOU for everything. THANKYOU for rock n roll. https://t.co/9AiUcBaOhk
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) May 9, 2020
So sad to hear the news about Little Richard. He was a real pioneer & one of the greatest voices in Rock n Roll. I remember when they asked me if I was ok w/ Richard singing Shakedown on the Academy Awards since I wasn't available – are u kidding? I was thrilled & he killed it! pic.twitter.com/nfyFnnacsC
— Bob Seger (@BobSeger) May 9, 2020
A friend, a Rock & the Institution, Mr. Richard Wayne Penniman (Dec 5, 1932 – May 9, 2020), better known as Little Richard. Share the love with his family & friends all around the world. We will never forget u & ur music.✌️Bootsy baby!!!🤩 @RollingStone @SweetwaterSound pic.twitter.com/bX6Mrin2gd
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) May 9, 2020
Rip true original Little Richard
Met him at the Sunset Hyatt in the 90’s. He was in full makeup/bathrobe outside his door and was really friendly to a rando at ten a.m.
I bet a lot of people have such stories: you could tell he was a “people person”
— Stephen malkmus (@dronecoma) May 9, 2020
#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. https://t.co/Mz9UPzwYth
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) May 9, 2020
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