"Little Richard" (born "Richard Wayne Penniman", December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist, and an early pioneer of rock and roll. As in the case with a number of other early rockers, fans have proclaimed Richard as "The Real King of Rock 'n' Roll" (in reference to the deceased Elvis Presley, who's known by the moniker "The King of Rock 'n' Roll").
One of twelve children, Little Richard was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and learned gospel music in Pentecostal churches of the U.S. South. His early recording career in the 1950s was a mix of boogie-woogie music and rhythm and blues, heavily steeped in gospel music, but with a heavily accentuated back-beat, funky rhythm, raspy-shouted vocals, and breathlessly delivered lyrics that marked a decidedly new kind of music that would become known as Rock 'n' Roll.
Inspired by Gospel greats, such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whom he referred to as his "favorite singer" when he was a child (she invited him to sing a song with her onstage in 1944, after she heard him sing her hit "Strange Things Happening Everyday"), Marion Williams (from whom he got the "whoooo" in his vocal)...
|Born||December 5, 1932|
|Origin||Macon, Georgia, USA|
|Genre||R&B/rock & roll|
|Instrument||Singing, piano/keyboard instrument|
|Years active||1951 - present|