Rock ‘n’ Roll pioneer Little Richard dies aged 87

Rock 'n' Roll star Little Richard has died aged 87.

The singer, who inspired musicians including The Beatles and Sir Elton John, was a Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer and renowned for hits such as Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally.

Chic star Nile Rodgers described Little Richard's death as "the loss of a true giant" while radio presenter Tony Blackburn said the singer was a "terrific artiste".

Little Richard, born Richard Penniman, sold more than 30 million records worldwide.

The singer was a major influence on The Beatles, who first met him when they were an up-and-coming young band playing in Germany.

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Musician Little Richard poses at press conference, Aug. 11, 1981, Los Angeles, Calif. He is now an Evangelist. (AP Photo/Randy Rasmussen)
Little Richard, the rock-n-roll star of the 50s and 60s who was known for his mile-high pompadour, sequined suits and pancake makeup, has in recent years become a full-time evangelist, but now hed like to reclaim his throne as king of rock-n-roll, Sept. 28, 1984, Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Wally Fong)
Rock and roll entertainer Little Richard holds his arms out as he greets reporters during a news conference in a hospital in Los Angeles, Ca., Friday, Oct. 25, 1985. Richard thanked God for saving his life. Doctors said the 52-year-old singer is lucky to survive an automobile accident Oct. 8. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Musician Little Richard sits in a wheelchair at a hospital press conference, Oct. 26, 1985, Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo)
Singers Cyndi Lauper, left, of 1980s and Little Richard of the 1950s find a common note to share during ceremonies honoring American Bandstand and its host, Dick Clark, at Chassens Restaurant, Monday, Sept. 15, 1987, Los Angeles, Calif. Scores of celebrities who were on the show turned out at the party where American Bandstand and Dick Clark received the first Guinness Supreme Achievement Award from the Guinness Book of World Records. The show is in its 35th consecutive year on television. (AP Photo/Lennox McLendon)
The wife of singer Otis Redding, Zelda Redding holds on to her husband?s trophy as is presented with it by Little Richard at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1989. The late Otis Redding was one of five inductees. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)
Actress Raquel Welch, left, poses with Little Richard during a press conference in Boston, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1987 for the AIDS benefit concert on Wednesday night in Boston with singer Cher, Welch, Little Richard and other performers for the Third Annual Boston against AIDS concert. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola
Musician Little Richard, center, arrives at the 1989 Grammy Awards, Feb. 22, 1989, Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Nick UT)
Country music singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, front left, and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, second from right, jam with Sid McGinnis (rear left), Steve Cropper (over Cash's shoulder), U2 guitarist The Edge, (rear center), and rocker Little Richard (dark glasses, far right), at the end of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies in New York, Jan. 16, 1992. Cash was inducted into the Hall of Fame. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Musician Little Richard is shown, Jan., 1992. (AP Photo)
Singer Little Richard leaves the Old Chapel of Forest Lawn, after attending a funeral service for James Brown' wife Adrienne Brown, at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills cemetery Jan. 11, 1996 in Los Angeles. Man behind is unidentified. Adrienne Brown died last Saturday after undergoing cosmetic surgery. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Rock and roll musician Little Richard and country singer Loretta Lynn embrace as they arrive at the opening of Country Star at Universal Studios in Hollywood, Ca., Sunday, Aug. 21, 1994. (AP Photo/Chris Martinez)
Comedian Steve Harvey, right, presents singer/songwriter Little Richard with the Hall of Fame Award at the 33rd Annual NAACP Image Awards Ceremony at Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2002. (AP Photo/Lucy Nicholson)
***FILE PHOTO*** Little Richard Has Passed Away at 87. DECEMBER 31: Little Richard performs during the New Year's Eve Peach Drop Ceremony at Underground Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia on December 31, 2002. CREDIT: Chris McKay / MediaPunch /IPX

Speaking in 2002, Little Richard said: "Paul (McCartney) would watch me every night when I was up on stage. Paul idolised me and admired my energy.

"The way you see Mick Jagger and Tina Turner walk all over the stage is what I used to do. That's where they all got it from."

The singer's son, Danny Penniman, confirmed his death to Rolling Stone magazine, while the Associated Press was told by Pastor Bill Minson that the star died on Saturday morning.

Rolling Stone said Sir Elton told the magazine in 1973: "I heard Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and that was it. I didn't ever want to be anything else."

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