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Little Richard laid to rest during private funeral

Little Richard (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Little Richard has been laid to rest.

The late rock ‘n’ roll legend passed away earlier this month at age 87, and his friends, family, and former band members gathered at the Oakwood University Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama, for his funeral on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

According to TMZ, Richard’s niece, opera singer Brandie Sutton, performed at the service.

The “Tutti Frutti” hitmaker — widely regarded as the pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll — was laid to rest after a eulogy from the Rev. Carlton P. Byrd, and family spokesman David Person also remembered the singer with some kind words.

Richard’s son Danny Jones Penniman confirmed earlier this month that his father — who was born Richard Wayne Penniman — had died.

The star passed away at his Tennessee home surrounded by his family members.

Little Richard was born in Macon, Georgia, in December 1932, into a family of 12 siblings. He was discovered at the age of 14 by Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who asked him to open her show. It is believed that her paying him for his performance inspired him to become a professional singer.

His breakout hit, “Tutti Frutti” was Little Richard’s breakout hit in 1956, soaring to No. 2 on Billboard’s Rhythm and Blues bestsellers chart. It also made the top 25 on the Billboard Top 100 and top 30 on the British singles chart, selling a whopping million copies.

A year later, “Long Tall Sally” was released, soaring to No. 1 on the R&B charts, while also making 13th place on the Billboard Top 100. In the UK, the track made the top 10.

He had a huge music career in the decades that followed, with hits including “Rip It Up,” “The Girl Can’t Help It” and “Ready Teddy.”

After his death, tributes flooded in from all over for the late singer on social media, including from rocker Gene Simmons of KISS fame, The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, former first lady Michelle Obama, filmmakers Spike Lee and Ava DuVernay, and many, many more.