Ernestine Campbell was the ex-wife of Richard Wayne Penniman, commonly known as Little Richard.

Little Richard, a prominent figure of his time, was not only a singer, musician, and composer but also a key influencer in shaping the music industry and culture.

Widely acknowledged as the founding father of Rock ‘n’ Roll, he played a pivotal role in its development.

On May 9, 2020, Little Richard passed away at the age of 87, leaving behind a lasting legacy that continues to influence artists across various genres.


Tribute to Little Richard

In honor of Little Richard, a documentary/musical based on his life was released in 2023, boasting an IMDb rating of 7.4.


Who was Ernestine Campbell?

Ernestine Campbell rose to fame after marrying Little Richard in 1959.

Despite achieving celebrity status, there is scant public information about her early life, family, and education.

While her birth date remains unknown, reports suggest that she was born around the year 1939.

Little Richard and Ernestine Campbell


How Did Ernestine Meet Little Richard

Little Richard and Ernestine first met at a religious event, where they became friends and eventually fell in love.

On July 12th, 1959, they joyfully exchanged vows, but their marriage proved to be short-lived; by the year 1964, they decided to part ways.

The exact reasons for their divorce aren’t very clear, but some speculated that Little Richard’s rising fame made it difficult for Ernestine to sustain the relationship.

Others believed that marital issues and Little Richard’s interest in men contributed to the breakup.

Little Richard had openly acknowledged his homosexuality and spoke about being kicked out of his family home as a teenager due to his sexual orientation.


Ernestine and Richard’s Adopted Child

Ernestine and Richard, who didn’t have any biological children, adopted a one-year-old boy named Danny Jones.

Since then, Danny has grown up to become a renowned American rapper and singer, carrying on the legacy of his adoptive father, although he hasn’t achieved the same level of popularity.


Ernestine’s Second Marriage After Divorcing Little Richard

After her divorce from Little Richard, Ernestine Campbell married McDonald Campbell on March 23, 1975, in Santa Barbara, California.

However, details about her new husband are scarce.


Is Ernestine Campbell Still Alive?

Sadly, Ernestine Campbell passed away at the age of 70 or older in 2010.

Categorized in: