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Little Richard is a flamboyant American singer and pianist whose hit songs in the mid 1950s were defining moments in the development of rock ‘n’ roll.
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Over the ensuing decades Little Richard would continue to perform and record, but the public response failed to match the enthusiasm that greeted his earlier success.
his importance in the development of rock music has never been questioned. In 1986 Little Richard was one of the 10 original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1993. A year later the Rhythm & Blues Foundation honored the Little Richard with its prestigious Pioneer Award.
In recent years, the once dynamic performer has taken a break from the concert stage. He fell ill during a Washington, D.C. show during the summer of 2012. The following September, Little Richard suffered a heart attack. According to Rolling Stone, Little Richard described the incident to Cee Lo Green during an interview in Atlanta. "The other night, I didn’t know I was having a heart attack. I was coughing, and my right arm was aching.' The singer took a baby aspirin, which his doctor credits for saving his life. The deeply religious music icon attributed his survival to a higher power. "Jesus had something for me. He brought me through."
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When musicians land big fame, there typically comes a moment of reinvention in which the "rock star" identity is born. This new persona often requires a new name, a way to differentiate between the private and public versions of themselves. Musical monikers take different forms, from the simple, last-name changes aimed at boosting celebrity appeal—like Steven Tyler—to the glamorized version of a childhood nickname—like Jay-Z. Musicians' nicknames and aliases tend to take on an identity all their own over time, often becoming as full of personality as the artists they represent.
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