Everything about Ernestine Campbell, Little Richard's wife

Everything about Ernestine Campbell, Little Richard's wife

American musician Little Richard is considered a pioneer in rock music, with massive hits like Tutti Frutti, Long Tall Sally, and Good Golly Miss Molly, making him a household name throughout the mid-1950s, where he gained most recognition. Ernestine Campbell, Little Richard’s wife, also has a small fanbase since they were still married during this time. Here is her full biography.

Little Richard’s husband
The Rock and Roll singer is seen studying the bible with a woman, rumoured to possibly be his wife, when he quit rock and roll to convert to Christianity in 1959. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives
Source: Getty Images

Some reports claim that Little Richard’s wife was the one who initiated their separation and subsequent divorce, and her challenges with her newfound fame are believed to be the main reason. Although we cannot confirm this, here is a summary of what we could find and what is more widely reported.

Profile summary and bio

Full nameErnestine Campbell
Date of birth1939 (date and month unknown)
Age74/75 at the time of death
Romantic orientationHeterosexual
Current nationalityAmerican
Marital statusDivorced from Richard Wayne Penniman (1959-1963)
Hair colourDark brown
Eye colourDark brown
ChildrenDanny Jones Penniman (adopted)
ProfessionFormer secretary
Native languageEnglish

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Sources vary on exactly when the duo met, but it is reported that they met at an evangelical rally in the late 1950s and became an item shortly after. Although unconfirmed, a report states she was an American secretary from Washington DC when the duo met. Here is what else we know about them as a couple and individuals.

How old was Little Richard when he died?

The iconic musician died at the age of 87 years on May 9, 2020, in Tullahoma, Tennessee. According to his lawyer, Bill Sobel, Little Richard’s cause of death was bone cancer.

Was Little Richard ever married?

Richard was only ever officially married once, despite several high-profile relationships.

Who was Little Richard's wife?

Ernestine was his only wife, and they were married from 1959 to 1963. Audrey Robinson, aka Lee Angel, is his former partner and has stated that the duo shared an 'unconventional relationship' likely stemming from his extravagant lifestyle. However, they never wed.

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Little Richard’s son
The iconic musician is pictured performing onstage with his band as his saxophone player Grady Gaines stands on the piano circa 1957. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives
Source: Getty Images

Did Little Richard have any children?

Little Richard’s children include just one child, an adopted son named Danny Jones Penniman. Ernestine Campbell’s son, whom she shares with Richard, is an American singer and rapper.

Little Richard’s parents

His father is Charles Penniman, and his mother is Leva Mae Stewart. There is no other information available on his parents.

Is Ernestine Campbell still alive?

Ernestine Campbell is no longer alive.

Ernestine Campbell’s age

It is reported that she was between 74 and 75 years of age at the time of her passing, but it remains unconfirmed.

Unfortunately, little information is available on Ernestine Campbell, especially regarding her life before and after marrying Richard. However, she played a significant role in his life, being the only woman he married and had a child with.

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Source: Briefly News

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