Little Richard Dies: Flamboyant Rock Legend Was 87 Years Old

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Alen said that Little Richard died in Nashville with his brother and son by his side. Alen tells CNN that the cause of death is related to bone cancer.

He called the star “one of the legends, the creators” and said that little Richard “had been sick for a long time”.

Born Richard Penniman in Georgia in 1932, the rock pioneer would have stood out at all times, but in the 1950s, when he became famous, he was not like the others: a flamboyant black man, wearing make-up and playing from the piano that personified “devil music” to the guardians of the establishment.

Elvis Presley was one thing, but despite all his pelvic thrusts and his sleek, delinquent youthful hair, he was at heart a polite boy from the South who loved his dad. Little Richard, however … well, he may have come from a big family in the South, but he represented something else.

“Richard opened the door. He put the races together, “said arranger H.B. Barnum in the 1984 biography of Charles White” The Life and Times of Little Richard “.

“When I first went on the road, there were a lot of separate audiences. With Richard, although they still had separate audiences in the building, they were there TOGETHER. And most of the time before the end of the night, they were all mixed together. “

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, not to be outdone on stage, was also an admirer.

“There is not a single sentence to describe his hold on the public. I couldn’t believe the power of Little Richard on stage. It was incredible, “he said, according to White’s book.

Little Richard knew his power. “They saw me as a delivery man, an issue,” he said one day. “My means of expression, my music, was a means by which many people wanted to be able to express themselves and could not. “

He also said nothing about his status. Little Richard bristled when he was overlooked in favor of other early rock figures, saying to SFGate.com: “I created rock‘ n ’roll! I am the innovator! I am the emancipator! I am the architect! I am the creator! I am the one who started! “

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso contributed to this report.

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