Little Richard revealed on Sunday night (September 29th) that he suffered a heart attack last week. Rolling Stone reported that Richard -- whose given name is Richard Penniman -- spoke of the attack to Cee Lo Green in Atlanta during a Recording Academy fundraiser where the two were involved in a Q&A. Richard explained: "The other night, I didn't know I was having a heart attack. I was coughing, and my right arm was aching. I told my son, 'Make the room as cold as ice.' So he turned the air conditioning on, and I took a baby aspirin. The doctor told me that saved my life. Jesus had something for me. He brought me through."
Richard went on to say: "God talked to me the other night. He said he's getting ready to come. The world's getting ready to end . . . and He's coming, wrapped in flames of fire with a rainbow around his throne. . . When I talk to you about God, I'm not playing. I'm almost 81 years old. Without God, I wouldn't be here."
- Last month, Little Richard spoke about his imminent retirement, telling Rolling Stone: "I am done, in a sense. I don't feel like doing anything right now."
- Little Richard rocketed to stardom in the mid-'50s, when his black eyeliner, bouffant hairdo, and flamboyant performances were hard to ignore. With innovative songs like "Tutti Frutti," "Lucille," and "Good Golly Miss Molly," and by 1968 he had sold an astonishing 32 million records worldwide.
- Since the beginning of his career, Richard has been nothing if not outspoken about his contribution to music. He refers to himself as the "originator, emancipator, and the architect of rock n' roll," and many musicians and historians agree. The list of musicians who have cited him as an influence includes the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, Prince, Billy Joel, Buddy Holly, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, John Fogerty, and Michael Jackson, among others.
- Richard was among the first group of artists inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986. In 1990, he earned a star on Hollywood's renowned Walk Of Fame, and in 1993 he received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences.
CHECK IT OUT: Little Richard backed by Sounds Incorporated performing "Lucille" in 1964:
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