Little Richard was born into a family of 12 children, the son of a bartender and Seventh-Day Adventist minister in Macon, Georgia. He left home at 13 because his family could not tolerate his homosexuality, and was adopted by Ann and Johnny Johnson, a white family who ran the Tick Tock club, where he had already been performing.
In 1956 he recorded his first hit record, "Tutti Frutti," and went on to make many more hits. He appeared in several movies in 1956 and 1957 but then quit music to study for the ministry. He was ordained into the Seventh-Day Adventist ministry in 1961 but in 1964 he returned to music. His career has alternated several more times between the church and music. His singing style has been highly influential on both Black and white singers, including Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Paul McCartney and David Bowie.
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