Little Richard Dead: Michelle Obama, Mick Jagger and More Stars Pay Tribute


Michelle Obama, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and more celebrities honored Little Richard’s legacy following the singer’s death at the age of 87 on Saturday, May 9.

The Becoming author, 56, shared her tribute to the rock pioneer via Twitter writing, “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.”

Jagger, 76, called the trailblazer, whose full name was Richard Wayne Penniman, “the biggest inspiration of my early teens” via Instagram and revealed that he learned about stage presence from the “Long Tall Sally” singer.

“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,” the Rolling Stones frontman wrote.

Ringo Starr, for his part, posted a photograph of Richard with the Beatles captioned, “A night to remember.”

Bette Midler praised the Georgia native as a “genius, pure and simple.” She added, “He paved the way for (code for he was ripped off by) so many artists. Watch his YouTube performances to see what I mean. I met him on ‘Down and Out in Beverly Hills,’ in which he was hilarious. What a legacy. God bless you, Richard.”

Us Weekly confirmed on Saturday that the entertainer had died in Nashville, Tennesse. The cause of death is unknown. Richard is survived by his son, Danny Jones Penniman.

Jack Bart, Richard’s agent, told Us that the Grammy winner was “very alert” and “enjoying life” in his later years and even still played piano.

“He was all there. He had all his faculties, facilities. If you just talked to him on the telephone, you would think he was a guy in his sixites,” Bart said adding, “He will be dearly missed.”

Born in Macon, Georgia, the entertainer achieved success in the 1950s for his iconic songs “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly.” Richard went down in rock music history for his energetic performances and his androgynous style.

Scroll down to read the stars’ tributes to the legendary singer.