Rock ‘n’ roll giant Little Richard is expected to be honoured with a statue outside his childhood home in Macon, Georgia. US news outlets have reported that the decision was announced during a Zoom meeting by the Little Richard House Resource Centre Facebook page.
The announcement follows Richard’s death from bone cancer in Nashville at the age of 87 on 9 May. He was buried on 19 May at his alma mater of Oakwood University Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama.
His passing prompted generous tributes from right across the music community, including from superstars that he influenced in their early years, from Paul McCartney to Bob Dylan and from Elton John to Mick Jagger. “A lot of people call me the architect of rock ’n’ roll,” Richard once said. “I don’t call myself that, but I believe it’s true.” He was among the first group of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its inaugural year of 1986.
Friends of the Little Richard House board member Antonio Williams said: “Little Richard’s contribution to music as a whole, to all the genres of music, was monumental and very instrumental in a lot of people’s careers.”
The statue will be paid for by a fund established by Friends of the Little Richard House and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. The site will also feature a replica of Little Richard’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Rep. James Beverly, D-Macon, said the fund will also help support organisations providing music education to low- and moderate-income students across Bibb County and Middle Georgia.
Organisers have a target date in mind for the statue, which they hope will be erected in time for Richard’s birth date of 5 December. That will also be named Little Richard Penniman Day by proclamation of Macon Mayor Robert Reichert.