A lot of musical stars 'retire' just so they can come out of 'retirement' for a series of farewell concerts. Sinatra retired a few times, Cher has retired at least once (she has a new CD) and now, Little Richard has announced that he's finished. It's not his first retirement and it's not nearly as dramatic as his first.

Little Richard's first retirement was dramatic to say the least.

During a flight from Melbourne to Sydney that he had seen the plane's red hot engines and felt angels were holding it up. During the Sydney performance, Penniman saw a bright red fireball flying across the sky above him and was deeply shaken. He took the event, later revealed as the launching of the first artificial Earth satellite Sputnik 1, as a sign from God to repent from performing secular music and his wild lifestyle and enter the ministry.

That retirement lasted until around 1962 when the flamboyant rocker was persuaded to return to rock.

Now, at the age of 81, Richard may be serious about retirement. Who can blame him? According to Richard, "I don't feel like doing anything right now." In addition to being 81, he also suffers from sciatica and a degenerating hip.

According to the Rolling Stone article, he now spends his time designing clothes and praying -- and thinking about the impact left by his groundbreaking early singles like 'Tutti-Frutti' and 'Long Tall Sally.' "I think my legacy should be that when I started in show business, there wasn't no such thing as rock 'n' roll," he mused. "When I started with 'Tutti Frutti,' that's when rock really started rocking."

The man has every reason to be proud of his contribution to Rock N' Roll. His influence has been recognized by just about every major rock act to come down the pike. If anyone should be allowed to sit back and take it easy, it's Little Richard.

Here is a great VIDEO of Little Richard performing at Muhammad Ali's 50th birthday (1994)