Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard died Saturday morning in his Nashville home at the age of 87, the artist’s son Danny Penniman confirmed to Rolling Stone.
Richard’s agent Dick Alen told People that the rock icon died from bone cancer.
“Little Richard passed away this morning from bone cancer in Nashville. He was living with his brother in Nashville,” Alen said in a statement. “He was battling for a good while, many years. I last spoke to him about two or three weeks ago. I knew he wasn’t well but he never really got into it, he just would say ‘I’m not well.’ He’s been suffering for many years with various aches and pains. He just wouldn’t talk about it much.”
Considered a founding father of rock ‘n’ roll, Little Richard — born Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932 — landed his first record deal with RCA in 1951. He quickly soared to fame with hits such as “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” “Rip It Up,” “Lucille” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.”