A bit of back-door news took the music scene by surprise this week when rock & roll legend Little Richard admitted during a fundraiser that he had suffered a heart attack a few days prior.
As Rolling Stone reports, the icon was onstage conversing with Cee Lo Green during a Recording Academy fundraiser in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday night. During the conversation, Little Richard told the story of his health scare the week before, saying that he didn’t know at first that it was a heart attack. “I was coughing, and my right arm was aching,” he said. He then asked his son to turn on the air conditioning and took a baby aspirin. “The doctor told me that saved my life. Jesus had something for me. He brought me through.”
This is not the first time in recent memory that health issues of some sort have affected Little Richard, now 80 years old. He has not performed onstage since June 2012, when he cut a performance short due to respiratory issues, and recently said that he has essentially retired. He has frequently been aided by a wheelchair since having hip replacement surgery in 2009.
Little Richard released his first single, “Tutti Frutti,” in 1955. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and is often credited as the “architect of rock & roll.”