Little Richard is known as “The Architect of Rock and Roll,” but what, exactly, does that mean? An architect designs something to be built, so it’s ironic that Little Richard’s version of rock music is defined by the rules it broke, from pushing the tempo of his songs beyond anything heard in pop music at the time to Richard’s incomparable stage presence. Even sitting behind a piano, the man oozed sexuality in a way that was simply unprecedented. It’s doubly ironic, then, that Little Richard would eventually renounce rock and roll and become a born-again Christian following struggles with drug addiction and wrestling with his sexual identity, essentially turning his back on the Queer community he helped cultivate in his 1950s heyday.


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