Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman, December 5, 1932 in Macon, Georgia) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist, and an early African-American pioneer of rock and roll. Many fans have proclaimed Richard as "The Real King of Rock 'n' Roll".
One of twelve children, Little Richard says he "came from a family where my people didn't like rhythm and blues. Bing Crosby - 'Pennies From Heaven' - Ella Fitzgerald, was all I heard." (Hamm 1979, p.391) Raised in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he learned gospel music in Pentecostal churches of the U.S. South. His early recording career in the 1950s was a mix of blues music and rhythm and blues, heavily steeped in gospel music, but with a driving beat and breathlessly delivered lyrics that marked a decidedly new kind of music.