Rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard has rejected his "omnisexual" and "gay" past, revealing he now strives to live holy "like Jesus" and insisting men should live as men, and women should live as women, because God made them that way.
"Give everything you've got to Jesus and you'll feel oh, so much better," Richard, 84, told Danny Shelton of Three Angels Broadcast Network in an interview.
"You know it's just like everybody is turning one way or the other. This man here, when I first came into show business, they wanted you to look like everybody but yourself. And anybody come in show business, they're gonna say you're gay. Are you straight? Are you a homosexual something? They're gonna say it. But the God, Jesus, made men, men, he made women, women, you know. And you've got to live the way God wants you to live," he said.
Billboard notes that Richard, whose real name is Richard Wayne Penniman, has "become a queer icon for countless people, even inspiring drag impersonations," as he wore excessive makeup and dressed in feminine clothing throughout his career.
In 1995, he told Penthouse that "I've been gay all my life and I know God is a God of love, not of hate."
In 2012, he told GQ, "We are all both male and female. Sex to me is like a smorgasbord. Whatever I feel like, I go for. What kind of sexual am I? I am omnisexual!"
In his interview with Three Angels, Richard, who is behind a slew of hit songs including "Tutti Frutti," "Good Golly Miss Molly," and "Lucille," referred to the "unnatural affections" he was once involved in, including same-sex relationships.
"You know, all these things. So much unnatural affection. So much of people just doing everything. And don't think about God. Don't want no parts of Him," he said.
The singer encouraged others who may be struggling with same-sex attraction that God can save them, as well.
"Regardless of whatever you are He loves you. I don't care what you are. He loves you and He can save you, and He will save you and He can help you. He will help you. All you've got to do is say, 'Lord, take me as I am. I'm a sinner.' But we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The only holy, righteous person is Jesus and He wants us to be just like Him because in order to go to Heaven, we've got to look like Him," Richard said.
He pointed out that while many people want to go to heaven, they "don't want to have to give up nothing."
"And in order to see Jesus, you've got to give up something," Richard emphasized. "I don't want to sing rock and roll no more. ...I want to be holy like Jesus. Give everything you've got to Jesus, and oh, you'll feel so much better. I want to show the world that I know a man that created everything. I know a man that gave his life that I might have a right to the tree of life."