5 Impactful Little Richard Facts You Need To Know

Little Richard

Little Richard, among a few others, was a pioneer of Rock & Roll, and consequently helped shaped modern music as we know it today. The now 85-year-old musician has been so influential to many other artists, from the Beatles and Elvis Presley, all the way to many young artists of today.

Born in Macon, Georgia in 1932, Little Richard (real name Richard Wayne Penniman) was the third of twelve children. His interest in music began at a young age while singing in church, and continued through school where he learned how to play the alto saxophone and played in the marching band. From there, he began to perform live with traveling shows and different bands, and eventually, began recording music. 

In 1955, Little Richard released his single "Tutti Frutti," and the song instantly became a hit. The following year, he found success again with his single "Long Tall Sally," which became his first single to reach No. 1 on the R&B chart. And ver the last 60+ years, he's released over 25 full-length studio albums, and has toured several times around the world.

Little Richard's multiple decades-long career has no doubt left a lasting impact on music, and the world, which has made him a music icon. Learn more about his amazing contributions to music through these five important facts below.

1. He is a pioneer of Rock & Roll, and was inducted into the debut class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and James Brown.

Little Richard

2. Speaking of Elvis Presley, Elvis covered Little Richard's hit "Tutti Frutti" and performed the song twice on national television. 

 

3. According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Little Richard's band (the Upsetters) "has been credited by James Brown and others with first putting the funk in the rock and roll beat."

Little Richard

4. He once performed with the Beatles in 1962. The Liverpool band also covered Little Richard's music like his song "Long Tall Sally."

Little Richard

5. Little Richard was not only inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, he also has received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry, and was given an American Music Award of Merit, among many other accolades.

Little Richard

Celebrate Little Richard and his incredible contribution to music by listening to iHeartRadio's Thumbs Up: Little Richard playlist:

Photos: Getty Images

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