Little Richard Buried at Alma Mater

Rock Legend Little Richard Laid to Rest at Alma Mater
FILE - This Nov. 13, 1986 photo shows Little Richard in Los Angeles. Little Richard, the self-proclaimed “architect of rock ‘n’ roll” whose piercing wail, pounding piano and towering pompadour irrevocably altered popular music while introducing black R&B to white America, has died Saturday, May 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Avery, File)

Rock ‘n’ Roll pioneer Little Richard was laid to rest at his alma mater, Oakwood University on Wednesday.

What We Know:

  • Many gathered at the historically black university for the memorial service to remember the life of Little Richard not only as a Rock ‘n’ Roll legend but as a man of generosity and faith.
  • The university’s President Leslie Pollard stated “What I really remember about Richard was not his stage performances, which we certainly formidable, but what I remember most about Brother Richard, not Little Richard, but Brother Richard, was his incredible kindness and his generosity to people”.
  • The singer sold more than 30 million records and notched a string of hits including “Tutti Frutti”, “Good Golly Miss Molly”, and “Keep a Knockin”.
  • Little Richard died on May 9th following a battle with bone cancer at 87.
  • His pastor, James Owens, siad he re-baptized Little Richard a year ago. “We thank you, Lord, that he gave his life to you” he said. “We are so thankful that now he is buried, being laid to rest on these hallowed grounds of the historic campus of Oakwood University, where so much African American talent has come out of, including his own. And we thank you, Lord, for his desire to share the word, to use his fame, to spread the name of Jesus Christ.”
  • Little Richard was born Richard Penniman and was one of Rock ‘n’ Rolls founding fathers that helped shatter the color line on the music charts and brought what was once called “race music” into the mainstream.
  • In his personal life, he walked the line between raunch and religion, alternately embracing the Bible and outrageous behaviour and looks like mascara-lined eyes, pencil-thin mustache and glittery suits.
  • Little Richard influenced other musicians from the Beatles to David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen.

Little Richard chose Oakwood University, which is a histoically black Seventh-day Adventist college in the northern Huntsville, Alabama.



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Lydia Elmore is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo.