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Music » Little Richard gravely ill, according to Bootsy Collins

Little Richard gravely ill, according to Bootsy Collins

Little Richard (Photo Credit: Facebook/Little Richard)

Little Richard (Photo Credit: Facebook/Little Richard)

Iconic musician and father of Rock & Roll, Little Richard is believed to be in serious medical distress. Over the past few years, Little Richard has suffered from a stroke, hip surgery and most recently a heart attack that has seen him become even more reclusive in his Macon, Georgia home. But a recent tweet from fellow musician and former band member Bootsy Collins has fans concerned about the legend.

This past weekend, Collins tweeted from his account @Bootsy_Collins, “A friend, a legend & some say the true King of Rock & Roll. Lil-Richard needs our love & understanding right now….”

The rumor mill started to fly and fans are now growing concerned over the singer’s health and reports that family members are gathering at his bedside. Multiple media outlets are now reporting that Little Richard is in critical condition at an unnamed hospital. However, there has been no official word from his publicist or family members about his health. In 2013, he suffered a heart attack during a fundraising event for the Recording Academy and announced his retirement from music a few weeks afterwards. Before the announcement, he had to stop a concert when he told the audience that he could barely breathe and exited the stage.

Little Richard, real name Richard Wayne Penniman, was born in Macon in 1932. From an early age, he had a love of music and performing which caused concern for his parents. He joined a Black traveling music show that led to him performing on the “Chitlin Circuit” throughout the Black South. He was well known for wearing thick “pancake” makeup and his outrageous stage presence that was combined with an equally wild lifestyle. In 2000, the movie Richard directed by Robert Townsend and starring actor Leon portrayed his incredible music career. Little Richard was part of the musical acts that changed what was known then as “race music” to the term “rock & roll” as Whites purchased his records and made him a recording star. The singer is now 83 and regarded as the father of “Rock & Roll” by such megastars as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones who have called him an inspiration behind their music.


  1. CJWatson3630 on May 2, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    damn 🙁

  2. Robin Tomlin on May 2, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I love you Richard, stay strong!

  3. Gary f. montgomery on May 2, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I spoke to Richard last week when Prince passed:
    1. He was in fine health for an 82 year old
    2. He was not and is not living in Macon, GA. I know this because I live in Macon and I would know if was here.
    3. The rumor began in an article in the Oxford American, music edition featuring Georgia.

    • rockyhardwick on May 3, 2016 at 10:41 am

      This faceless source no one has heard of, with no proof, says Bootsy’s tweet means nothing – guess we can pack it up, folks!

  4. Carlos Bolden on May 2, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    Little Richard Penniman Was One Of The Greatest Entertainers In His Time Era. He Was The Original Innovator And Creator Of Modern Rock & Roll Music As He Stated So Many Times…
    He Didn’t Bite His Lip About How He Helped Set The Stage The Way Music Has Changed For So Many Years. His Music Has Been Copied By Many Music Artists…His Style Will Never Be
    Duplicated!!!! Get Well Little Richard!!!!

  5. guest on May 3, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Little Richard always said that Prince reminded him of himself, even though Prince was not to fond of the comparison. How ironic it would be if they both passed within a few weeks of each other. I hope this is not true.

  6. Suzette Pennamon on May 4, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Prayers going up!
    Suzette Pennamon