Little Richard death: Mick Jagger, Quincy Jones react to rock 'n' roll pioneer's passing

AP logo
Saturday, May 9, 2020
Little Richard died at 87
Little Richard speaking about seeing white people in his audiences and how his music brought people together no matter their race.

Reaction to the death of rock 'n' roll pioneer Little Richard, who died Saturday at 87.

Mick Jagger

- "I'm so saddened to hear about the passing of Little Richard, he was the biggest inspiration of my early teens and his music still has the same raw electric energy when you play it now as it did when it first shot through the music scene in the mid 50's," Mick Jagger wrote on social media. "When we were on tour with him I would watch his moves every night and learn from him how to entertain and involve the audience and he was always so generous with advice to me. He contributed so much to popular music. I will miss you, Richard, God bless."

Quincy Jones

- "Absolutely heartbroken this morning at hearing the news of the passing of my brother & friend, the great Little Richard. From our connection through our mutual mentor, Bumps Blackwell, to recording "Money Is" & "Do It To It" for the $ soundtrack, to doin' the hang-thang at countless awards shows & industry events, every moment spent in Richard's company was a thrill," Quincy Jones wrote on social media. "An innovator who's influence spans America's musical diaspora from Gospel, the Blues & R&B, to Rock & Roll, & Hip-Hop, there will never, ever, ever, be another Little Richard...God Bless you Richard...May your soul Rest In Peace."

Michelle Obama

- "With his exuberance, his creativity, and his refusal to be anything other than himself, Little Richard laid the foundation for generations of artists to follow. We are so lucky to have had him. Sending all my love to his family and friends today," Michelle Obama tweeted.

Jerry Lee Lewis

- "It is with a heavy heart that I ask for prayers for the family of my lifelong friend and fellow Rocker 'Little Richard.' 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. God Bless his family and fans. Rest In Peace, my friend. Love Eternally," Jerry Lee Lewis said in an emailed statement.

Elton John

- "Without a doubt - musically, vocally and visually - he was my biggest influence. Seeing him live in my teens was the most exciting event in my life at that point. Goosebumps, electricity and joy came from every pore. His records still sound fresh and the opening few seconds of "Tutti Frutti" are the most explosive in music history," Elton John wrote on social media. "I was lucky enough to work with him for my "Duets" album in 1993. He was shy and funny and I was SO nervous. The track we recorded "The Power" is a favourite in my catalogue. We also played live at the Beverly Hilton and I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. He influenced so many and is irreplaceable. A true legend, icon and a force of nature. #RIP Little Richard."

Ringo Starr

- "God bless little Richard one of my all-time musical heroes. Peace and love to all his family," Ringo Starr tweeted.

Keith Richards

- "So sad to hear that my old friend Little Richard has passed. There will never be another!!! He was the true spirit of Rock'n Roll!," Keith Richards tweeted.

Spike Lee

- "Rest In Peace To One Of The True Creators Of Rock And Roll. This Is The Commercial I Directed With Little Richard And Michael Jordan, 1991," Oscar winner Spike Lee tweeted.

Jimmy Page

- "RIP Little Richard, a very sad loss. My thoughts are with his loved ones," Jimmy Page tweeted. "It's Little Richard's songs that pioneered rock'n'roll. I got to hear him and his band at the Newport Lounge in Miami and boy were they good."

Chance the Rapper

- "A couple weeks ago I randomly decided to read up on the legendary Little Richard on wiki. I learned then about how he developed The Beatles and saved The Rolling Stones," Chance the Rapper tweeted.

Carole King

- "#LittleRichard Rest in peace and power," Carole King tweeted.

Nile Rodgers

- "The loss of a true giant. My sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends," Nile Rodgers tweeted.

Iggy Pop

- "MESSAGE FROM IGGY: Dear Little Richard, thank you, RIP," Iggy Pop tweeted.


- "The King Of Rock And Roll. Zero Questions. Journalists Do Your Job. Not ARCHITECT not PIONEER. not HITMAKER. This man was literally THE BLUEPRINT of all the world took from. LITTLE RICHARD is THE TRUE KING. LONG LIVE THE KING," Questlove wrote on Instagram.

Brian Wilson

- "I'm very sorry to hear about Little Richard. He was there at the beginning and showed us all how to rock and roll. He was a such a great talent and will be missed. Little Richard's music will last forever. Love & Mercy," Brian Wilson tweeted.

Steven Van Zandt

- "RIP Little Richard. The man who invented Rock and Roll. Elvis popularized it. Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard was the archetype," Steven Van Zandt tweeted. "Maureen and I were so honored being the first marriage he conducted. We were lucky to know him. He lives forever in the Underground Garage.

Cyndi Lauper

- "So sad Little Richard passed away. He married my husband and I. He was really one of the truely great rock and roll singers and one of the rock and roll pioneers. He will be missed," Cyndi Lauper tweeted.

Billy Idol

- "RIP #LittleRichard the architect of rock n roll," Billy Idol tweeted.

Ava DuVernay

- "I served soul food brunch to Little Richard every Sunday for a year while waitressing at Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch in LA. I was a college student. He tipped me a crisp $100 bill each week on a $75 breakfast with friends. This was 30 years ago. Helped me so much. God rest his soul," filmmaker Ava DuVernay tweeted.

Reese Witherspoon

- "What a legend! RIP Little Richard," actress Reese Witherspoon tweeted.