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Ava DuVernay recalls Little Richard tipping her $100 a week as an LA waitress

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Director Ava DuVernay has recalled how Little Richard would tip her $100 (£81) a week while she was working as a waitress in Los Angeles.

  • Read more: Little Richard 1932 – 2020: the King and Queen of rock’n’roll who gave us everything

The acclaimed filmmaker shared her anecdote about the late rock star following the news of his death from bone cancer on Saturday (May 9).

“I served soul food brunch to Little Richard every Sunday for a year while waitressing at Aunt Kizzy’s Back Porch in LA,” DuVernay tweeted.


“I was a college student. He tipped me a crisp $100 bill each week on a $75 breakfast with friends. This was 30 years ago. Helped me so much. God rest his soul.”

The director, who helmed Selma and recent Netflix series When They See Us, is one of the latest stars to pay tribute to the rock’n’roll icon. Paul McCartney shared a tribute to Little Richard on his Instagram page, writing: “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.”

Bob Dylan called him his “shining star” and “the original spirit that moved me to do everything I would do”, while Mick Jagger said Little Richard was “the biggest inspiration of my early teens”. “When we were on tour with him I would watch his moves every night and learn from him how to entertain and involve the audience and he was always so generous with advice to me,” he added.

Meanwhile, the music world has also been remembering Little Richard in his lesser-known role as an ordained minister. The star presided over wedding ceremonies for the likes of Tom Petty, Cyndi Lauper, and Demi Moore and Bruce Willis.

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