*The Internet had Little Richard near death toward the end of last month, with various news sites reporting that the rock-and-soul legend was in extremely grave health.
Bootsy Collins was even concerned. “A friend, a legend & some say the true King of Rock & Roll. Lil-Richard needs our love & understanding right now,” he wrote on Facebook on April 28th. “He is not in the best of health so I ask all the Funkateers to lift him up.”
According to William Sobel, Little Richard’s attorney of the past 30 years, the reports of his ill health are completely untrue.
“I just spoke to him today,” Sobel told Rolling Stone in a piece posted 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.'”
According to Rolling Stone, Little Richard hasn’t performed in the past two years and has kept largely away from the spotlight, reportedly living in a penthouse suite at the Hilton in downtown Nashville.
“He had hip surgery,” added Sobel. “He’s 83. 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.'”