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RIP, Little Richard —'a Genius, Pure and Simple'

Mick Jagger, Quincy Jones are among those reacting to Little Richard's death
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 9, 2020 3:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Reactions are rolling in to the death of rock 'n' roll pioneer Little Richard, who died Saturday at 87, the AP reports. Among them:

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  • "I'm so saddened to hear about the passing of Little Richard, he was the biggest inspiration of my early teens and his music still has the same raw electric energy when you play it now as it did when it first shot through the music scene in the mid 50’s," Mick Jagger wrote on social media. “... I will miss you Richard, God bless."
  • "Absolutely heartbroken this morning at hearing the news of the passing of my brother & friend, the great Little Richard," Quincy Jones wrote on social media. "From our connection through our mutual mentor, Bumps Blackwell, to recording 'Money Is' & 'Do It To It' for the $ soundtrack, to doin' the hang-thang at countless awards shows & industry events, every moment spent in Richard’s company was a thrill."
  • "I just heard the news about Little Richard and I'm so grieved. He was my shining star and guiding light back when I was only a little boy. His was the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do," Bob Dylan tweeted. "...Of course he’ll live forever. But it's like a part of your life is gone."
  • "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," Michelle Obama tweeted.
  • "Without a doubt—musically, vocally and visually—he was my biggest influence," Elton John wrote on social media. "Seeing him live in my teens was the most exciting event in my life at that point. Goosebumps, electricity and joy came from every pore. His records still sound fresh and the opening few seconds of 'Tutti Frutti' are the most explosive in music history. ... #RIP Little Richard."
  • “I served soul food brunch to Little Richard every Sunday for a year while waitressing at Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch in LA. I was a college student. He tipped me a crisp $100 bill each week on a $75 breakfast with friends. This was 30 years ago. Helped me so much. God rest his soul," filmmaker Ava DuVernay tweeted.
  • "#LittleRichard was a genius, pure and simple. 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," Bette Midler tweeted.
(Read more obituary stories.)

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