Little Richard

(1932 - 2020)

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Richard Wayne Penniman
1932 - 2020
Born
December 5, 1932
Macon, Bibb County, Georgia United States
Death
May 9, 2020
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee United States
Other Names
Little Richard, The Innovator, The Architect of Rock and Roll, The Originator
Summary
Little Richard was born on December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia. He married Ernestine Harvin on July 12, 1959 in and they later divorced in 1964. He died on May 9, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee at 87 years old.
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Updated: December 6, 2020
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Richard Wayne Penniman, best known as "Little Richard" was a very popular singer, songwriter and musician whose most popular work is from the mid-1950s. He's credited with being one of the founders of Rock and Roll due to his music, charisma and showmanship, and has influenced a number of singers and musicians across numerous musical genres.

Richard was born in Macon Georgia to Leva Mae (Stewart) and Charles "Bud" Penniman and was the third of twelve children. It was during his childhood Richard earned his nicknamed "Lil' Richard" because of his small and skinny frame which of course would stay with him the rest of his life. His father was a church deacon, brick mason and owner of the nightclub "Tip In Inn" and his mother was a member of Macon's New Hope Baptist Church. His parents were religious and gave Richard his first introduction into live music during worship. Understanding his parent's lives likely gives us insight into how his early childhood resulted into the rock and roll star we all know.

When he moved out of his family's home, Richard was taken in by a white family who owned a club in Macon where Richard began performing and honed his talent. In 1951 Richard caught his first big break where he performed on an Atlanta radio station which resulted in a record contract with RCA. In 1955 Richard began working with Specialty Records producer Arte Rupe and his career took off.

One of his most famous songs, Tutti Frutti (1955) became an instance hit topping Billboard charts in the United States & United Kingdom. He enjoyed a true celebrity life - the Beatles opened for Little Richard during a tour in the UK where Richard taught Paul McCartney some of his vocalizations, he had his own television special "The Little Richard Spectacular" , was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy and the Rhythm and Blue Foundation and received numerous other awards.

Little Richard is well regarded as being one of the first crossover black artists that's talent appealed to all races. His music and concerts attracted all people despite being most popular during a time of segregation.
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Biography
Little Richard
Most commonly known name
Richard Wayne Penniman
Full name
Little Richard, The Innovator, The Architect of Rock and Roll, The Originator
Nickname(s) or aliases
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee United States
Last known residence
Male
Gender
Richard Penniman was born on in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia United States
Birth
Richard Penniman died on in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee United States
Death
Richard Penniman was born on in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia United States
Richard Penniman died on in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee United States
Birth
Death
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Adulthood

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Talented entertainer and musican.
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Little Richard's music and performance style has earned him the following awards:

1956: He received the Cashbox Triple Crown Award for "Long Tall Sally" in 1956.
1984: He was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
1986: He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the initial class of inductees chosen for that honor.
1990: He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1993: He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
1994: He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
1997: He received the American Music Award of Merit.
2002: Along with Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, he was honored as one of the first group of BMI icons at the 50th Annual BMI Pop Awards.
2002: He was inducted into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame.
2003: He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
2006: He was inducted into the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame.
2008: He received a star on Nashville's Music City Walk of Fame.
2009: He was inducted to the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
2010: He received a plaque on the theater's Walk of Fame.
2015: He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
2015: He was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame.
2015: He received the Rhapsody & Rhythm Award from the National Museum of African American Music.
2019: He received the Distinguished Artist Award at the 2019 Tennessee Governor's Arts Awards
Daniel Pinna shared
on May 09, 2020 9:56 AM

Richard's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Penniman family tree.

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Little Richard & Ernestine Harvin

July 12, 1959 - 1964
Cause of Separation: Divorce
California, United States
Little Richard

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Biography
Oct 12, 1905 - Jul 29, 2000 1905 - 2000

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Little Richard died on May 9, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee at age 87. He was born on December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia. He married Ernestine Harvin on July 12, 1959 in and they later divorced in 1964.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Richard's lifetime.

In 1932, in the year that Little Richard was born, five years to the day after Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart flew solo from Newfoundland to Ireland, the first woman to cross the Atlantic solo and the first to replicate Lindbergh's feat. She flew over 2,000 miles in just under 15 hours.

In 1957, by the time he was 25 years old, on September 24th, the "Little Rock Nine" (nine African-American students) entered Little Rock High School. Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus had previously prevented the students from entering the school at the beginning of the term with the Arkansas National Guard - they blocked the door. President Eisenhower ordered federal troops - the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army - to guard the students and allow them entry.

In 1974, at the age of 42 years old, Richard was alive when on July 30th, the House Judiciary Committee adopted three articles of impeachment against President Nixon. He was charged with obstruction of justice, failure to uphold laws, and the refusal to produce material subpoenaed by the committee. In order to avoid impeachment, Richard M. Nixon announced that he would resign on August 8th, the first President to do so.

In 1986, when he was 54 years old, on January 28th, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch. All seven crew members died. The cause of the explosion was later found to be a failed O-ring. The O-ring failure was due to the unusually cold conditions at Cape Canaveral.

In 1990, Richard was 58 years old when on April 24th, the Hubble telescope was launched into space after long delays due to the Challenger explosion. An optical flaw was found within weeks of launch but was fixed within three years. The discoveries made possible by the Hubble have contributed to scientists' understanding of the universe.

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