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Little Richard Tributes: Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, Jimmy Page, Cyndi Lauper Honor Rock Pioneer

on May 09, 2020, 1:36pm

Little Richard, one of the greatest artists in the history of popular music died on Saturday. Words like “trailblazer” and “pioneer” somehow feel insufficient; Little Richard was rock and roll, embedded deep within the genre’s DNA. His reach extended far beyond hits like “Tutti Frutti”, and his innovations in vocal technique, fashion, sexual expression, and concert spectacle influenced generations of musicians. In the wake of his passing from cancer at the age of 87, thousands of artists released statements expressing all that the late titan meant to them.

“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,” Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger remembered.

“He was there at the beginning and showed us how to rock and roll,” Brian Wilson added on Twitter. “He was such a great talent and he will be missed.”

“This man was literally THE BLUEPRINT of all the world took from,” proclaimed Questlove. “LITTLE RICHARD is THE TRUE KING. LONG LIVE THE KING.”

Jerry Lee Lewis said in a statement to Rolling Stone,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.”

Others who’ve honored Little Richard include Elton John, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Ringo Starr, Iggy Pop, Cyndi Lauper, Quincy Jones, Jack White’s Third Man Records, Tom Morello, Krist Novoselić, First Lady Michelle Obama, Spike Lee, and many more. Update: Bob Dylan has also issued a rare public statement in honor of Little Richard, which you can read here.

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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. His records still sound fresh and the opening few seconds of “Tutti Frutti” are the most explosive in music history. I was lucky enough to work with him for my “Duets” album in 1993. He was shy and funny and I was SO nervous. The track we recorded “The Power” is a favourite in my catalogue. We also played live at the Beverly Hilton and I felt like I’d died and gone to heaven. He influenced so many and is irreplaceable. A true legend, icon and a force of nature. #RIP Little Richard Love, Elton x #LittleRichard

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