“With his exuberance, his creativity, and his refusal to be anything other than himself, Little Richard laid the foundation for generations of artists to follow,” the “Becoming” author tweeted.
Little Richard, born Richard Wayne Penniman, died of bone cancer, according to The Associated Press. He was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1932 and was one of 12 siblings.
With his exuberance, his creativity, and his refusal to be anything other than himself, Little Richard laid the foundation for generations of artists to follow. We are so lucky to have had him. Sending all my love to his family and friends today.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) May 9, 2020
Others joined Obama in celebrating the “Tutti Frutti” singer’s legacy on Twitter Saturday.
Legendary record producer Quincy Jones wrote that he was “heartbroken” about the rock icon’s death.
“An innovator who’s influence spans America’s musical diaspora from Gospel, the Blues & R&B, to Rock & Roll, & Hip-Hop, there will never, ever, ever, be another Little Richard,” Jones wrote on Instagram.
Elton John, one of the many prominent artists who were influenced by Little Richard throughout his career and beyond, called the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer a “true legend, icon and a force of nature.”
A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on May 9, 2020 at 10:08am PDT
“Without a doubt – musically, vocally and visually – he was my biggest influence,” John wrote in an Instagram post. “Seeing him live in my teens was the most exciting event in my life at that point.”
The “Rocket Man” singer also recalled what it was like to work with Little Richard on John’s 1993 album “Duets.”
“He was shy and funny and I was SO nervous,” John wrote. “The track we recorded ‘The Power’ is a favourite in my catalogue.”
Obama also wrote on Twitter that the world was “so lucky to have had” Little Richard, who sold more than 30 million records worldwide.
“Sending all my love to his family and friends today,” the former first lady added.
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