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Richard Penniman, whose music and performance stylings reshaped rock ‘n’ roll, died on Saturday at the age of 87. His full-throated, emotion-packed singing, piano playing, and songwriting had a profound influence on the Beatles, as well as on a wide range of other musicians and performers through the decades. I wrote about seeing Paul McCartney perform “Long Tall Sally” at Candlestick Park back in 2014, and that performance was such a strong reminder of the many, many influences that go into creating a musical moment.
There are a multitude of reasons to celebrate Little Richard’s legacy; his impact on the Beatles is just one of them.