Music world remembers Little Richard as a wedding officiant to the stars

The Architect of rock'n'roll officiated weddings for Cyndi Lauper, Tom Petty, and Stevie Van Zandt

As the music world continues to mourn the death of Little Richard, they’re remembering him for more than just being ‘The Architect’ of rock’n’roll.

The star, real name Richard Wayne Penniman, died yesterday (May 9), with his lawyer Bill Sobel confirming the cause of death as bone cancer.

Aside from being known as a founding father of rock’n’roll, renowned for his flamboyant style and free-spirited attitude, Little Richard quit music in 1957 for a time to attend divinity school. He became an ordained minister who officiated weddings for some of the entertainment world’s biggest stars.


As a minister, he officiated weddings for Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, Cyndi Lauper, Tom Petty, Stevie Van Zandt, and more.

“So sad Little Richard passed away,” Lauper tweeted. “He married my husband and I. He was really one of the truely great rock and roll singers and one of the rock and roll pioneers. He will be missed.”

Demi Moore tweeted: “Remembering #LittleRichard today… Bruce and I were so lucky and honoured to have him officiate our wedding back in 1987 — thankful for the memories. Rest easy.”

“RIP Little Richard. The man who invented Rock and Roll,” said Stevie Van Zandt. “Elvis popularized it. Chuck Berry was the storyteller. Richard was the archetype. Maureen and I were so honored being the first marriage he conducted. We were lucky to know him. He lives forever in the Underground Garage.”



Former Detroit radio host Ken Calvert shared a photo of Little Richard officiating Tom Petty’s wedding to Dana York, writing: “Tom Petty married Dana York on June 3, 2001. The minister was Richard Penniman, AKA Little Richard. ‘He did yell, ‘Shut up!’ at one point,’ Petty chuckled. ‘He was really nervous, but so was I. He gave a long talk about love and its characteristics. He was pretty inspirational.'”


Meanwhile, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and more have all paid tribute to rock’n’roll pioneer Little Richard.

“‘From ‘Tutti Frutti’ to ‘Long Tall Sally’ to ‘Good Golly, Miss Molly’ to ‘Lucille’, Little Richard came screaming into my life when I was a teenager,” McCartney wrote on Instagram.

“I owe a lot of what I do to Little Richard and his style; and he knew it. He would say, “I taught Paul everything he knows,’” he added. “I had to admit he was right.”