Born on December the 5th, 1932, originally called Richard Wayne Penniman, better known by his stage name, Little Richard.
An influential figure in popular music and culture for more than six decades, Little Richard's most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s, when his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for Rock n Roll.
Little Richard influenced numerous singers and musicians across musical genres from Rock to Hip Hop his music also helped shape Rhythm and Blues for generations to come, and his performances and headline-making thrust his career right into the mix of American popular music.
Little Richard has been honored by many institutions. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its first group of inductees in 1986. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" (1955) was included in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2010, which stated that his "unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music." In 2015, the National Museum of African American History and Culture honored Little Richard for his pivotal role in the formation of popular music genres and in helping to shatter the color line on the music charts, changing American culture significantly.
His Amazing Legacy
1) According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -
He claims to be "the architect of rock and roll", and history would seem to bear out Little Richard's boast. More than any other performer – save, perhaps, Elvis Presley, Little Richard blew the lid off the Fifties, laying the foundation for rock and roll with his explosive music and charismatic persona. On record, he made spine-tingling rock and roll. His frantically charged piano playing and raspy, shouted vocals on such classics as "Tutti Frutti", "Long Tall Sally" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly" defined the dynamic sound of rock and roll.
2) He was cited by two of Soul music's pioneers, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, as contributing to that genre's early development. Redding stated that most of his music was patterned after Little Richard's and that he had "done a lot for [him] and [his] soul brothers in the music business." Cooke said in 1962 that Little Richard had done "so much for our music". Cooke had a top 40 hit with his cover of "Send Me Some Loving" in 1963.
3) James Brown said that Little Richard and The Upsetters, including drummer Charles "Chuck" Connor, were "the first to put the Funk in rhythm", with a biographer stating that their music "spark[ed] the musical transition from fifties rock and roll to sixties funk".
4) Little Richard's hits of the mid-1950s, such as "Tutti Frutti", "Long Tall Sally", "Keep A-Knockin'" and "Good Golly Miss Molly", were generally characterized by playful lyrics with sexually suggestive connotations. AllMusic writer Richie Unterberger stated that Little Richard "merged the fire of gospel with New Orleans R&B, pounding the piano and wailing with gleeful abandon", and that while "other R&B greats of the early '50s had been moving in a similar direction, none of them matched the sheer electricity of Richard's vocals. With his high speed deliveries, ecstatic trills, and the overjoyed force of personality in his singing, he was crucial in upping the voltage from high-powered R&B into the similar, yet different, guise of rock and roll." Due to his innovative music and style, he's often widely acknowledged as the "architect of rock and roll".
5) Ray Charles introduced him at a concert in 1988 as "a man that started a kind of music that set the pace for a lot of what's happening today."
8) Taken by Little Richard's music and style, and personally covering four of Little Richard's tunes on his own two breakthrough albums in 1956, Elvis Presley told Little Richard in 1969 that his music was an inspiration to him and that he was "the greatest".
9) Pat Boone noted in 1984, "no one person has been more imitated than Little Richard".
10) As they wrote about Little Richard for their Man of the Year – Legend category in 2010, GQ magazine stated that Little Richard "is, without question, the boldest and most influential of the founding fathers of rock'n'roll".
His impressive involvement in the world of the movies on IMDB