by Paul Cashmere, Noise11
Little Richard fans are concerned for the health of the rock and roll idol after a tweet from Parliament / Funkadelic bass player Bootsy Collins.
On Saturday, Collins tweeted “A friend, a legend & some say the true King of Rock & Roll. Lil-Richard needs our love & understanding right now….”
A friend, a legend & some say the true King of Rock & Roll. Lil-Richard needs our love & understanding right now.... https://t.co/YSmC0B2p17— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) April 28, 2016
The tweet linked to an article from December 2015 in OxfordAmerican.org asking for ‘Prayers for Richard’.
In summary, the article by David Ramsey details the life of Richard Penniman, the third of 12 children from Macon, Georgia who would go on to become a founder of Rock and Roll and especially influential as a songwriter to Paul McCartney, who in The Beatles covered his songs and models his own songs on Richard’s structure.
Little Richard “found God” on a 1957 Australian tour. He saw “a glow of flames and pictured yellow-haired angels”. As it turns out he was just seeing the Sputnik space craft passing over but that “big ball of fire” was enough for Richard to quit Rock and Roll “to go to God”.
In recent years Little Richard underwent hip surgery in 2009 and has been wheel-chair bound ever since. In 2013 he suffered a heart attack.
Reports claim Richard is in a hospital and family members have gathered at his bedside.
Little Richard is 83 years old.
Update: Since the publishing of this article, Little Richard has said that he is doing fine.