American Music nods honor Little Richard

Longtime rocker Little Richard will receive the Award of Merit from the American Music Awards. The legendary artist will be honored with a lengthy tribute during the Jan. 27 telecast of the awards program.

The Award of Merit recognizes artists who have made “outstanding contributions to the musical entertainment of the American public.”

Richard, whose full name is Richard Penniman, is best known for musical nuggets “Tutti Frutti” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.”

The trophy’s inscription will note that Richard “is the founding father who sent rock ‘n’ roll into orbit with his super-charged performances and spirit. … He’s served as an inspiration to his fellow artists.”

Richard joins artists such as Bing Crosby, Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley and Irving Berlin and execs Berry Gordy Jr. and Bill Graham in receiving the award. He is the 24th recipient of the nod.

Produced by Dick Clark Prods., the three-hour American Music Awards will be telecast on ABC.

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