Little Richard's hit Good Golly Miss Molly made the charts in 1958. Other well-known songs include Tutti Frutti and Long Tall Sally.
The Beatles, Elton John and Elvis Presley all cited him an influence. The singer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
He died of bone cancer in Tullahoma, Tennessee his family said.
Little Richard was born as Richard Wayne Penniman in 1932.