As the world continues to mourn the loss of music icon Little Richard, fans are finding solace in the catalogue of his music.
On Wednesday (May 13), Billboard reported that his streaming numbers drastically spiked following news of his death this past weekend and drew more 4.1 million U.S. streams between May 9 and 10, which is a 2,228 percent surge from the previous two days. The most-streamed song was his 1956 classic “Tutti Frutti,” with 412,00 streams. “Good Golly Miss Molly and “Long Tail Sally” also saw significant increases.
Little Richard, born Richard Wayne Penniman, passed away on Saturday (May 9) after a long battle with bone cancer. He was 87 years old. His agent, Dick Alen, confirmed the somber news with PEOPLE, revealing that he’d been battling the disease for sometime.
“He was battling for a good while, many years. I last spoke to him about two or three weeks ago. I knew he wasn’t well but he never really got into it, he just would say ‘I’m not well,’” Alen said. “He’s been suffering for many years with various aches and pains. He just wouldn’t talk about it much.”
Tributes have continued to pour for the founding father of Rock music. MC Hammer, Paul McCartney, Debbie Allen, Tevin Campbell, Diana Ross, Chuck D, Chance the Rapper and more took to social media to pay their respects to the inroads he laid for many artists today.
Taking to Twitter, Ava DuVernay shared how Little Richard once helped her as a college student while she waitressed in Los Angeles.
“I served soul food brunch to Little Richard every Sunday for a year while waitressing at Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch in LA,” she penned. “I was a college student. He tipped me a crisp $100 bill each week on a $75 breakfast with friends. This was 30 years ago. Helped me so much. God rest his soul.”
Funeral arrangements for Little Richard are still pending, but it was recently announced that he will be laid to rest at Oakwood University Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama.
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