Elton John’s Twitter tribute to Little Richard is especially poignant because clearly Elton’s piano style, a lot of which came from Leon Russell, originally was influenced by Little Richard. Not only that. Elton’s landmark costumes and flamboyant stage routines are part Liberace, part Little Richard. Elton’s tribute is typically gracious and moving:
“Without a doubt – musically, vocally and visually – he was my biggest influence. Seeing him live in my teens was the most exciting event in my life at that point. Goosebumps, electricity and joy came from every pore.
“His records still sound fresh and the opening few seconds of “Tutti Frutti” are the most explosive in music history. I was lucky enough to work with him for my “Duets” album in 1993. He was shy and funny and I was SO nervous.