Little Richard, A Founding Father Of Rock And Roll, Is Dead At 87

Considered one of the founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll, Little Richard passed away Saturday morning at the age of 87. His death was confirmed by his son, Danny Jones Penniman, to Rolling Stone, who also confirmed through his music lawyer, Bill Sobel, that the cause of death was bone cancer.

Born Richard Wayne Penniman, the musician’s career took off in the mid-’50s, with him churning out such instant classics as “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up” “Lucille,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly” — all before the decade was over. Little Richard would find himself on the same pedestal as fellow rock icons including Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. However, he would eventually give up rock ‘n’ roll in 1957, only to return in 1959 to play gospel music. In 1964, he returned to the genre that made his name, but he failed to reach the same level of success as he achieved the prior decade.

Richard’s work became essential to the rock ‘n’ roll community, his songs covered by The Everly Brothers, The Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elvis Costello, The Scorpions, among untold more. In the later years, Richard would become one of the tenn original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and in 1993, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards.