Resurfaced Footage Shows Little Richard Telling Letterman He Isn’t Gay Anymore And Proclaiming ‘I gave my heart to Christ’

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The late rock ’n’ roll icon Little Richard boldly professed his faith in Jesus Christ in a recently resurfaced interview from 1982.

Little Richard — born Richard Wayne Penniman — told then-NBC “Late Night” show host David Letterman that he had been a homosexual his whole life up to that point, but God changed him.

Letterman asked the singer of such hits as “Tutti Frutti,” “Lucille” and “Good Golly Miss Molly” what sparked his interest in faith.

“Well, I’ve always been religiously inclined. My mother in Macon, Georgia, … and I would have to go to church in order to go to the movie” on Sunday evening, Little Richard recounted.

“But I’ve always loved God. In my hometown, if you didn’t love God, you didn’t have nothing, because it was so prejudiced back in that time. I had to do what I was doing in order to survive,” he added.

 

Letterman next questioned Little Richard if his religious inclinations created an internal struggle since he was living such a flamboyant lifestyle.

Little Richard responded, first talking about his father, saying he experienced conflict in his home.

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The singer shared how he was kicked out of the house as a teenager of 16 or 17, both because he was disobedient and gay.

Little Richard recalled his father saying to him, “I wanted seven boys and you are messing it up.”

 

“But God gave me the victory. I’m not gay now. I was gay all my life. I believe I was one of the first gay people to come out. But God let me know, ‘I made Adam to be with Eve, not Steve,’ so I gave my heart to Christ,” Little Richard said.

“I’m a man for the first time in my life. I know how you feel now,” he joked with Letterman.

The talk show host next wondered what Little Richard was doing with his new life.

“I’m an evangelist now. I travel all over the world preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said.

 

 

“I became a drug addict. I was on heroin, angel dust, everything, acid,” before his spiritual awakening, he explained. “I made a vow to God that I wanted to do something in his service.”

 

Little Richard recounted how he had seen people like Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and his own brother die young due to drug abuse, and he didn’t want to continue down that path.

 

“God has spared my life,” he said.

CNBC reported that Little Richard was among the original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly.

 

He also appeared in the movie “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” that same year, with several other television and movie appearances throughout the 1990s and 2000s.

 

 

In his final interview in 2017, Little Richard shared how God had changed his life.

 

“I’m so glad that I know Jesus,” he said. “[There’s] nothing like Jesus.”

Little Richard died in May 2020 at the age of 87.

 

A documentary about his rise to rock ’n’ roll stardom called “Little Richard: I Am Everything” was released in May of this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Ella Ford

Ella Ford

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