The musician’s son, Danny Penniman, confirmed Richard’s death in a statement issued to Rolling Stone. The cause of his death, however, remains unknown at this time.
Richard, a major influential figure in the development of popular music and a figure who pioneered the culture of rock music for seven decades, started life in the music industry in the mid-1950s and didn’t look back. Forging a career like no other, Richard became as well known for his charismatic, flamboyant showmanship while performing his dynamic and often frenetic music. Heavily credited as being a major player in setting the solid foundations for the genre of rock music, Richard is regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
Here, to remember his pioneering brilliant, we’re revisiting a now-iconic performance of his hit song ‘Lucille’ live in 1957. Originally released on Specialty Records in February 1957, Richard sang and played the piano on the first recording and, as usual, was backed by a band which was made up of saxophone player Lee Allen (tenor saxophone), Alvin “Red” Tyler on baritone sax, guitarist Roy Montrell, bass player Frank Fields, and drummer Earl Palmer.
Such is the legacy of the song, and its impression on the foundations of rock and roll as we know it, ‘Lucille’ was was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002 and has been deemed to be one of the greatest songs of all time.
Here, in this moment of reflection, enjoy some of the earliest known footage of the great man performing it live.