RIP Little Richard

(Little Richard. Photo By Anna Bleaker)

Little Richard, the self-described “king and queen” of rock and roll, died Saturday, reports Rolling Stone.

He was 87. The musician’s son, Danny Jones Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone, adding that the cause of death was cancer.

With his ferocious piano playing, growling and gospel-strong vocals, pancake makeup and outlandish costumes, Little Richard tore down barriers starting in the 1950s. That is no small feat for any artist — let alone a black, openly gay man who grew up in the South, reports NPR