- 10 May 20
Halle Berry, Lenny Kravitz, Tom Jones, LL Cool J, The Hoff & film director John Waters have also reflected on his pioneering rock 'n' roll genius
There's been no let up in the tributes to Little Richard with Bob Dylan saying: "I just heard the news about Little Richard and I’m so grieved. He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do. I played some shows with him in Europe in the early nineties and got to hang out in his dressing room a lot. He was always generous, kind and humble. And still dynamite as a performer and a musician and you could still learn plenty from him. In his presence he was always the same Little Richard that I first heard and was awed by growing up and I always was the same little boy. Of course he’ll live forever. But it’s like a part of your life is gone."
Talking overnight to Rolling Stone magazine, director John Waters stated: "“He was the first punk. He was the first everything. When I first heard him, screaming, “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom,” he scared my grandmother. I thought, 'What the hell is that?' It was a sound unlike anything I had ever heard in my life, even outside of music. So he had me from the very first moment I ever heard him. And then when I saw him, I thought, 'Oh, my God.' And I still have the mustache that really was a tribute to him."
Also talking to America's rock bible, Lenny Kravitz adds: "I had heard him since I was baby in our house. My parents had all these great records, 45s, and, of course, listening to the radio in the car when I was toddler in New York City. So I was familiar with his songs. I had probably first heard 'Tutti Frutti' or 'Good Golly Miss Molly'.
"What’s amazing is that his recordings, compositions and the production were so dynamic and timeless. When you put them on today — which I have — the force and the energy that comes out of the speakers is still so mind-blowingly strong."
More context was added by Steve Van Zandt who notes: "The man who invented rock’n’roll. Elvis popularized it. Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard was the archetype.”
“He hit me and the rest of my generation like a bolt of lightning,” is Bryan Ferry's take while his old pal Jerry Lee Lewis says: "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.”
And that, believe us, is just the tip of the Little Richard loving iceberg:
To my dear Richard,
You're a true original, you broke all the rules and you weren’t afraid to show it. A magnificent talent and an inspiration to so many of us.
My heart goes out to your loved ones, RIP my friend. pic.twitter.com/yRJoSUDk2I
— Tom Jones (@RealSirTomJones) May 9, 2020
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) May 10, 2020
May Little Richard The Father & Architect of #rocknroll Rest in eternal power. I remember us hanging out. all the funny stories and wisdom you shared..
You’re truly a King 👑 my love to your family.#RestInPeaceLittleRichard pic.twitter.com/a4to2nT42E
— LLCOOLJ (@llcoolj) May 10, 2020
On stage with Little Richard, Mick, Bruce & Will Lee. RIP Richard. pic.twitter.com/IbON1dOkF3
— DavidSanborn (@DavidSanborn) May 10, 2020
First the Tiger king Roy , Then the king of Rock and Roll Little Richard. He was the true pioneer of crazy , flamboyant Great great Music and I was honored to know him and have him on Baywatch. #LittleRichard pic.twitter.com/hOwjOjmNhu
— David Hasselhoff (@DavidHasselhoff) May 10, 2020