Bob Dylan, who dreamed of joining Little Richard’s band as a young musician in Minnesota, penned a short tribute to the rock pioneer following his death Saturday at the age of 87.
“I just heard the news about Little Richard and I’m so grieved,” Dylan wrote. “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.”
Dylan continued, “I played some shows with him in Europe in the early nineties and got to hang out in his dressing room a lot. He was always generous, kind and humble. And still dynamite as a performer and a musician and you could still learn plenty from him. In his presence he was always the same Little Richard that I first heard and was awed by growing up and I always was the same little boy. Of course he’ll live forever. But it’s like a part of your life is gone.”
In Dylan’s high school yearbook in 1959, then-senior Robert Zimmerman famously wrote that his life ambition was “to join Little Richard.” As the Star Tribune reported, Dylan even attempted to emulate Little Richard’s imitable performing style during his first-ever public performance at a Hibbing High School talent show in 1957.
Following the death of the King of Rock & Roll, many of the artists who Little Richard inspired — including the Rolling Stones, Elton John, John Fogerty and more — paid tribute to the music icon.
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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…
The deaths that are listed from Wikipedia are those of musicians or who have ties to the music business from all over the world. These are our brothers and sisters. It is so sad to see the listing of “famous people” who have died from COVID-19, not only musicians but other artists, sports figures, politicians, actors, jurists and so many more. Please stay home – keep YOUR names and those of your loved ones from being added to this list.
13: Gabriel Bacquier, 95, French operatic baritone; Malibongwe Gcwabe, 55, South African gospel singer, complications from asthma attack.
12: Renée Claude, 80, Canadian actress (It’s Your Turn, Laura Cadieux, Avec un grand A, He Shoots, He Scores) and singer, COVID-19.
11: Alberto Carpani, 64, Italian singer, COVID-19; Jean Nichol, 75, Canadian singer; Steve West, 68, British-American disk jockey and radio personality (XETRA-FM), cancer.
10: Aldo Bassi, 58, Italian jazz trumpeter; David Corrêa, 82, Brazilian singer-songwriter, COVID-19; José López Calo, 98, Spanish musicologist and priest; Sonny Parsons, 61, Filipino actor (Sparrow Unit, Agila) and singer (Hagibis), heart attack; Betty Wright, 66, American soul and R&B singer (“Clean Up Woman”), Grammy winner (1976), cancer.
9: Carlos José, 85, Brazilian singer-songwriter, COVID-19; Little Richard, 87, American Hall of Fame rock and roll singer (“Tutti Frutti”, “Long Tall Sally”, “Lucille”), pianist and songwriter, bone cancer.
8: Mark Barkan, 85, American songwriter (“Pretty Flamingo”, “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)”, “She’s a Fool”).
7: Ibrahim Gökçek, 41, Turkish bass player (Grup Yorum), starvation following hunger strike; Andre Harrell, 59, American record producer, founder of Uptown Records, heart failure; John Macurdy, 91, American operatic bass; Ty, 47, British rapper, complications from COVID-19.
6: Norbert Balatsch, 92, Austrian choral conductor (Vienna State Opera, Bayreuth Festival), Grammy winner (1981, 2002); Willy Hautvast, 87, Dutch composer and conductor; Brian Howe, 66, English rock singer (Bad Company), heart attack; Vu Ðsc Sao Bisn, 73, Vietnamese composer and writer; Florian Schneider, 73, German electronic musician (Kraftwerk), cancer.
5: Sweet Pea Atkinson, 74, American singer (Was (Not Was)), heart attack; Sonny Cox, 82, American saxophonist and basketball coach (King College Prep); Kjell Karlsen, 88, Norwegian composer and bandleader; Didi Kempot, 53, Indonesian campursari singer, heart attack; Kiing Shooter, 24, American rapper, COVID-19; Ciro Pessoa, 62, Brazilian singer-songwriter (Titãs, Cabine C), journalist and poet, complications from cancer and COVID-19; Alfred “Uganda” Roberts, 77, American percussionist (Professor Longhair, Dr. John), lung cancer; Millie Small, 72, Jamaican singer (“My Boy Lollipop”), stroke.