Little Richard near-death reports denied as singer says he’s ‘still singing’

Reports had previously suggested that the rock and roll pioneer was 'clinging to life'

Legendary singer Little Richard has denied reports that he is in poor health and “clinging to life”.

Reports recently circulated of the rock and roll pioneer Little Richard’s ill-health, with friend Bootsy Collins writing on Facebook last month that Richard was “not in the best of health” and that he “needs our love [and] understanding right now”.

However, the singer’s attorney William Sobel has issued a statement to Rolling Stone, saying: “I just spoke to him today. He said, ‘You know, I want you to talk to [the press] because I’m really annoyed. This thing started on Facebook. Not only is my family not gathering around me because I’m ill, but I’m still singing. I don’t perform like I used to, but I have my singing voice, I walk around, I had hip surgery a while ago but I’m healthy.'”

Sobel added: “He had hip surgery. He’s 83. I don’t know how many 83-year-olds still get up and rock it out every week, but in light of the rumours, I wanted to tell you that he’s vivacious and conversant about a ton of different things and he’s still very active in a daily routine. I used to represent Prince and he just engaged me in all kinds of Prince conversations, calling him a ‘creative genius.'”

Little Richard, who released his first album in 1957, is seen as one of the pioneers of rock and roll. He was inducted into the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

However, he was taken a step back from the limelight in his later life and hasn’t performed live in the past two years.