Story | The Rock Industry Reacts To Little Richard’s Death
via Rock & Roll Hall of Fame/YouTube
The Founding Father of Rock ‘n Roll
With a career spanning over six decades, Little Richards influenced countless musicians – from The Beatles to Elton John. More than a pioneering figure in rock ‘n roll, he set the template for those that followed him with his energetic, flamboyant, and unforgettable performances on stage. And so at the news of his death at 87 years old, several of his fellow rockers took to social media to express their grief at the loss of rock’s founding father.
Jerry Lee Lewis: “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. Love eternally, Jerry Lee Lewis.”
Bob Dylan: “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.”
Elton John: “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.” John went on to recall a handful of collaborations between the two legendary artists, later referring to his departed friend as “a true legend, icon and a force of nature.”
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page: “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.”
Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger: “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.” The Stones famously toured alongside Richard in 1963, an experience which had a profound effect on Jagger. “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.”
Brian Wilson: “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.”
Whitesnakes’ David Coverdale: “Huge influence & inspiration on how I started projecting my voice. Huge. Still astonishes me when I hear him sing.”
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