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WATCH: A revealing, revelatory look at complicated legacy of pioneering musician Little Richard

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Little Richard: I Am Everything.Born Richard Wayne Penniman, the artist grew up in Macon, Georgia with a large, religious, working-class family.

It’s at church that Richard first fell in love with music, particularly the enthusiastic performances from gospel singers.After being discovered by the “godmother of rock ‘n’ roll” Sister Rosetta Tharpe as a teen, Richard began performing on his own—sometimes in drag!

His raw talent and charisma soon earned him a record deal, and the rest was history.But that history is decidedly complicated.

Breaking through with raucous, raunchy singles like “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally,” Richard was actively changing the sound—and the face—of popular music, but much of his success would go on to be attributed to the white musicians who were influenced by him.And, as a Black queer man, his flamboyance was something that was both celebrated and lambasted.

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