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June’s Honorary Lady: Little Richard

July 2, 2010

We’re happy to announce that Little Richard picks up the crown for Girl Germs’ 3rd “Honorary Lady”. The “Honorary Lady” is a monthly feature we do on Girl Germs in efforts to challenge the boundaries that come attached to a radio show devoted mostly to female artists—we wish to challenge what it means to be a girl or lady, and recognize that artists who fall outside of this definition necessarily make groundbreaking contributions to music and the culture surrounding gender norms and possibilities.

If you were to look Little Richard up in the Dictionary, you’d probably see his face stamped next to the term “groundbreaking artists” (and hey- that’s 2/3 of our tagline!) Widely considered to be one of the very inventors of rock ‘n roll, Little Richard appeared on the national scene in 1951, introducing an entirely new style of music that combined traditional rhythm and blues melodies with the exciting pulse of funk.

Little Richard Churned out dozens of revolutionary hits in the 1950’s, including “Tutti Frutti”, “Keep A-knockin’” and “The Girl Can’t Help It.” Inspiring James Brown, Elvis, Otis Redding and countless others, Little Richard paved the way for thousands of artists to come. Nowadays, Little Richard’s flamboyant personality continues to capture the public’s attention—he still performs wearing sparkly suits and wigs, and is rumored BFFs with Minneapolis’ own Fancy Ray.

A performance of ‘Tutti Frutti’ from 1956:

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