Rock and roll icon Little Richard, whose real name is Richard Wayne Penniman, died on May 9, 2023, at age 87, his former agent, Dick Alen confirmed. Alen said the cause of death was related to bone cancer, according to the outlet.
Little Richard, who was beloved by hits like “Tutti Frutti” and “Jenny Jenny,” to name a few of his popular songs, left a lasting impression on the music community. From his unique and innovative sense of style to his rebellious personality, he was a pioneer of the rock and roll genre, as well as an inspiration for younger artists.
Beach Boys alum Brian Wilson tweeted about his passing, “He was there at the beginning and showed us all how to rock and roll. He was a great talent and we will miss him. Little Richard’s music will last forever, “while Rolling Stones star Keith Richards wrote,” There will never be another! It was the true spirit of Rock’n’Roll.
Although the Georgia native was admired by many, he did not get along well with all musicians. Just an example? There is a rumor that famous rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix fell out with Little Richard after joining his band, The Upsetters, in the mid-1960s.
Little Richard supposedly felt overshadowed by Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix, who led one of the most prolific careers in rock and roll history before his death in 1970, worked for Little Richard as “an Upsetter in 1964 and 1965, appearing on such records as I Don’t Know What You Have, But he has me”, The Washington Post wrote. Hendrix, who went by Maurice James back then, didn’t get along with Little Richard due to his penchant for showing off, which makes sense considering he had incredible talent.
Little Richard spoke about his former guitarist in a 1990 interview for Rolling Stone, remembering, “You know, we didn’t know he could play with his mouth. One night I heard this scream and a scream for him! I thought they were yelling for me. But he was there playing the guitar with his mouth”. The musician added: “He did not do it again, because we made sure that the lights no longer came on in that area. We fix it! We made sure it was a black dot! ”
Graham Nash of Crosby, Stills & Nash confirmed Little Richard’s frustration during a 2018 interview with Paul Shaffer of SiriusXM, recalling how he heard the ‘Long Tall Sally’ singer yell at Hendrix in the backstage of a show. “I am the king of rock and roll!” a frustrated Little Richard allegedly yelled at Hendrix.
Interestingly, Little Richard said he was never allowed behind the scenes to “see him [Hendrix] after he did it”.
Read Also: INSIDE LITTLE RICHARD’S REAL LIFE STORY