Rest in peace, Little Richard. The rock ‘n’ roll icon was laid to rest in a funeral on Wednesday, May 20.
The private service for the “Good Golly, Miss Molly” crooner, born Richard Wayne Penniman, was held at his alma mater, Oakwood University, in Alabama. According to Fox affiliate WZDX, he was remembered by roughly 150 of his friends and loved ones. Fans were able to show their respect for the late singer by lining the streets near the Alabama college’s campus.
Photos from the intimate gathering popped up across social media on Wednesday. Those in attendance were seen wearing protective face masks.
Us Weekly confirmed that the “Tutti Frutti” singer died in Nashville on May 9. Ahead of his passing, Richard battled bone cancer. He was 87.
On the day of his death, Richard’s agent Jack Bart shared with Us that the artist was “very alert” and “enjoying life” throughout his later years. Bart confirmed that his late client still played the piano.
“He was all there. He had all his faculties, facilities,” Bart explained. “If you just talked to him on the telephone, you would think he was a guy in his 60s. I last spoke with him about two weeks ago.”
At the time, Bart told Us that it’s still “too early to discuss funeral details at this moment” but noted how “dearly missed” Richard would be.
Richard was also remembered by a long list of celebrities. Viola Davis tweeted about what an “innovator” he was and how he “influenced generations of artists,” while Demi Moore noted via Instagram how she was “thankful for the memories” she had of meeting the musician alongside ex-husband Bruce Willis.
Richard was a pioneer for the rock music genre. He was the man behind hits including “Long Tall Sally” and “Lucille.” During his career, his music was never recognized with a Grammy, but the Recording Academy honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.
The musician was aware of the influence he had. “They saw me as something like a deliverer, a way out,” he once explained, per CNN. “My means of expression, my music, was a way in which a lot of people wished they could express themselves and couldn’t.”
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