Little Richard Is Laid to Rest in Alabama 2 Weeks After His Death

Born Richard Penniman, Little Richard was buried Wednesday at the Oakwood University Memorial Gardens Cemetery during a closed ceremony surrounded by close friends and family.

By Pamela Avila May 20, 2020 10:05 PMTags
Little Richard, 1957Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

Earlier this month, one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Little Richard, died. Today, the legend is laid to rest. 

Born Richard Penniman, the icon was buried Wednesday at the Oakwood University Memorial Gardens Cemetery during a closed ceremony surrounded by close friends and family. 

According to local news station WAFF 48 in Alabama, "Oakwood allowed for the public to come and pay their respects as the funeral procession happened." 

On Saturday, May 9, the late artist's attorney Bill Sobel confirmed to E! News that he passed away in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He was 87. "[Little Richard died] of bone cancer at a family home," Sobel shared. "He was loved by his family and adored by millions. He was not only an iconic and legendary musician, but he was also a kind, empathetic, and insightful human being." 

Little Richard was known for legendary hits like "Tutti-Frutti," "Long Tall Sally, "All Around the World" and "Ready Teddy." 

Following the death of the rock icon's death, many took to social media to pay tribute to the late artist

"The Originator. The innovator. The musician, performer who influenced generations of artists....has left," wrote Viola Davis on Twitter at the time. "You were AWESOME #LittleRichard!!! Your talent will reverberate forever. Well done sir. Rest well."

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Musicians who knew and worked with Little Richard also paid their respects. 

"He was like my dad. He was like a dad to us all," said baritone sax player, Kenny Ford, according to WAAY 31 in Alabama. 

"He also it rather it be a small crowd, like this, of his real people as opposed to just a big thing because everybody's trying to do their thing," bass guitarist Charles Glenn told the local publication. "He was always like that." 

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"When I first came along, I never heard any rock & roll," Little Richard told Rolling Stone back in 1990. "When I started singing [rock & roll], I sang it a long time before I presented it to the public because I was afraid they wouldn't like it. I never heard nobody do it, and I was scared."

The rock legend was born on December 5th, 1932, in Macon, Georgia. 

He was the third oldest of 12 children. The late artist is survived by seven of those siblings: Leva Penniman, Gail Penniman, Freka Merrell, Walter Penniman, Peyton Penniman, Elaine Harmison and Peggy Connor.