While Little Richard may not be remembered as the King of Rock & Roll, like Elvis Presley, he is just as deserving of the title and his impact is no less felt across the decades since he first entered the music industry.
Throughout the late 1950s, Richard was an artist at the top of his craft, releasing iconic hits like “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Lucille,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.”
Following his death on Saturday, many people flocked to social media to remember the legend and how (Rolling Stone describes) his “fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona” revolutionized music and culture. He was a stylistic guru; a true artist whose haptic beats gave listeners a moment where they could escape the culture around them and instead join in on one full of individual expression and creativity. He carved his own path, one that has influenced countless other artists since.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) May 9, 2020
Check it out:
The original original. RIP Little Richard. https://t.co/f3W32FUwJY
— Stephen Whitty (@StephenWhitty) May 9, 2020
Little Richard was the firecracker who set it all off. Right there at rock'n'roll's Big Bang, this ungovernable force transcending race, gender and sexuality. Literally a screaming queen. I met him once and it was like touching the hand of God. We owe him everything. RIP (it up). pic.twitter.com/C0IEjKoJZp
— Simon Price (@simon_price01) May 9, 2020
Like many Black artists, Little Richard battled racism. In the 50s, he said this about wearing makeup in order to perform at white venues:
"I wore the make-up so that white men wouldn't think I was after the white girls. It made things easier for me, plus it was colorful too." https://t.co/3CtriYoBRr
— Your Huckleberry (@AdrienneLaw) May 9, 2020
I have loved Little Richard since I was a child, when I knew him as “Pee-Wee’s friend who goes ice skating” pic.twitter.com/Yr8QNoRcaT
— Charles Bramesco (@intothecrevasse) May 9, 2020
Here are some more reactions:
RIP Little Richard. I always loved to see him perform.
— gingeek 🌊🌊🌊🌊 (@gingeek) May 9, 2020
Man, 2020 is too much at this point.
— Marc Murphy (@mnnurse10) May 9, 2020
RIP Legend pic.twitter.com/a1PJvkAdzz
— Absolutely. (@ohwell5sure) May 9, 2020
RIP my brother… I loved your music. My grandmother and I had the best time seeing you in Detroit. GOd Bless you !
— Ted Cantu (@ted_cantu) May 9, 2020
Another legend has gone. He broke barriers for many. Rest in Peace.
— Still Rising 🌄 (@kindawisewoman) May 9, 2020
Another G.O.A.T gone😭.
Thank you for teaching us how to be fearless with creativity and put a smile on the faces of friends and foes
— jericho2305 (@jerichoJuce) May 9, 2020