Richard Wayne Penniman (born December 5, 1932), better known by his stage name Little Richard, is an American recording artist, songwriter and musician. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for over six decades. His most celebrated work dates from the mid-1950s where his dynamic music and charismatic showmanship laid the foundation for rock and roll. Penniman's hits of that period were generally characterized by playful lyrics underpinned with suggestive overtones. His music also had a pivotal impact on the formation of other popular music genres, including soul and funk. Penniman influenced numerous singers and musicians across musical genres from rock to rap.
Penniman has been honored by many institutions, including inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Penniman's "Tutti Frutti" (1955) was included in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry in 2010, claiming the "unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music."