Paul McCartney thanked Little Richard, who died Saturday, for being...

Paul McCartney thanked Little Richard, who died Saturday, for being a good friend. Credit: Composite: Getty Images / Tim P. Whitby, left; Getty Images / Andy Lyons

One music icon paid tribute to another Sunday as Paul McCartney reflected on his debt to rock music founding father Little Richard, who died Saturday at 87.

"From 'Tutti Frutti' to 'Long Tall Sally' to 'Good Golly, Miss Molly' to 'Lucille', Little Richard came screaming into my life when I was a teenager," the former Beatle, 77, wrote on Twitter. "I owe a lot of what I do to Little Richard and his style; and he knew it. He would say, 'I taught Paul everything he knows'."

"I had to admit he was right," continued McCartney, a two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. "In the early days of The Beatles we played with Richard in Hamburg and got to know him. He would let us hang out in his dressing room and we were witness to his pre-show rituals, with his head under a towel over a bowl of steaming hot water he would suddenly lift his head up to the mirror and say, 'I can't help it cos I'm so beautiful'."

"And he was," McCartney said of his fellow Hall of Famer. "A great man with a lovely sense of humour and someone who will be missed by the rock and roll community and many more. I thank him for all he taught me and the kindness he showed by letting me be his friend. Goodbye Richard and," he said, quoting a line of exclamatory joy from Little Richard's classic "Tutti Frutti": "a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop."

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