Danny Jones Penniman was Little Richard’s only son.
Little Richard (real name Richard Wayne Penniman) is a legendary singer-songwriter touted as one of the original pioneers of rock music. He was the brain behind the hit ’50s songs, including “Tutti Frutti,” “Long Tall Sally,” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.”
Many famous stars have praised him for inspiring their sounds and the birth of the rock and roll music genre. No wonder he is heavily decorated with accolades.
Little Richard became a Hall of Fame inductee and received a lifetime achievement Grammy Award because of his outstanding contributions. He never had a wife or biological kids. However, he had a chance to be a father because he met Danny Jones Penniman.
Who Is Danny Jones Penniman?
Danny Jones Penniman is Little Richard’s adoptive child. He was adopted by the talented singer when he was 14 in 1984, and his life never remained the same.
Little Richard met Danny’s family after he had given up his rock & roll career and fully dedicated himself to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. At the church, he met Danny’s mother, Creola Jones.
The singer would often attend mass in Los Angeles with them. He became a family friend and a steady fixture in their home. Danny once recalled seeing Richard for the first time in second grade.
Danny recalls him coming to visit. It was always an occasion that made his neighborhood friends call, but it was not just to meet the famous Richard. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Danny said: “Whenever he did, he’d have a bag of coins and throw it up in the air, and we scrambled. Oh, man, we got some money.”
Little Richard Took Danny Jones Penniman in By 1984
After Danny lost his father, Little Richard was asked by his mother to take him in. The singer was already essentially a father figure in Danny’s life.
“He would never say anything to me about whatever I was doing. He would just always encourage me.”
Danny was born into a low-income family with nine siblings and resided in a poor area. This affected some of his siblings, while Danny remained untainted. Creole decided she would give him a chance at a better life.
Richard was her only hope. She asked him if he could take charge of Danny’s care to help keep him on the straight and narrow, and he agreed. From then on, Little Richard and Danny Jones Penniman were joined at the hips and would live the rest of their lives moving around together.
Danny often joined Richard on the road, learning all he could from the iconic man. According to him, Richard’s version of parenting was to tell you something and then leave you to figure out what it meant.
He once opened up on some of the lessons he picked up from Richard along the way. He said: “He would make statements like, ‘You control the money, don’t let the money control you.’ You don’t know what that means as a kid, but as life goes on, you figure it out.”
Danny also claimed that joining Richard on the road was a great experience that showed him a different part of the singer. According to him, Richard was very spontaneous. He could do or say anything, and Danny quickly learned not to assume what he would get from the singer.
Danny and Little Richard Worked Side By Side Until His Demise
Towards the end of Little Richard’s life, Danny remained by his side and worked with him in Tennessee. According to Danny, in the singer’s final years on earth, he had primarily focused on his life as a Christian.
He lived those final years in a hotel in Nashville, where he often appeared in the lobby to give out religious books with a picture of him. Sometimes he would get Danny, who wheeled him around, to take him to a piano, where he played a few notes.
Richard lived there until his demise. When he passed on, Danny was the one who confirmed his passing in May 2020. Since the tragic occasion, Danny has kept most of his life under the radar.
He is proof that Richard lived a great life. The actor never had any kids besides Danny, nor did he have a wife. Some reports claim Little Richard had been gay, like Anderson Cooper, but no one can say for sure because the singer kept his love life private.