Little Richard Denies Rumors of Bad Health, Tells Fans ‘I’m Still Singing’

Can’t nobody or no thing get him down! Little Richard is denying rumors that he’s in poor health following fellow funk pioneer Bootsy Collins’ Facebook post from Thursday, April 28, suggesting the musician is in bad shape.

“I just spoke to him today,” the 83-year-old legend’s longtime attorney, William Sobel, told Rolling Stone on Tuesday, May 3. “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.’”

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The rocker did, Sobel said, have surgery within the last two years, which has accounted for his absence from the limelight.

Little Richard
Little Richard peaks on stage at “The Legacy Lounge,” a conversation with CeeLo Green and his inspiration on Sept. 29, 2013. Rick Diamond/WireImage

“He’s 83,” Sobel said. “I don’t know how many 83-year-olds still get up and rock it out every week, but in light of the rumors, 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.’”

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In the since-deleted note on Facebook, Collins asked fans to keep Little Richard in their prayers.

“A friend, a legend & some say the true King of Rock & Roll,” Collins wrote. “Lil-Richard needs our love & understanding right now. He is not in the best of health so I ask all the Funkateers to lift him up.”

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In addition to hip surgery, Little Richard has also survived a stroke and a heart attack in recent years.

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