The real King of Rock & Roll gets his due in the trailer for Little Richard: I Am Everything

An image from the documentary 'Little Richard: I Am Everything'
An image from the documentary 'Little Richard: I Am Everything'

Magnolia Pictures An image from the documentary 'Little Richard: I Am Everything'

Ask anyone who they think the King of Rock & Roll is and they'll likely say Elvis Presley. But if you asked Elvis Presley, he would've told you it's Little Richard.

Little Richard became the first rock star when he burst onto the scene in 1955 with the legendary "Tutti Frutti," ushering in a new sound, a new style, and a way of looking at the world that appealed to a different subset of society: the teenager.

The upcoming documentary by Lisa Cortés (All In: The Fight for Democracy), Little Richard: I Am Everything, attempts to place the iconoclast's complex legacy — and his radical queerness — in context.

Featuring interviews with Billy Porter, John Waters, Mick Jagger, and Tom Jones, as well as scholars and friends of the late rock icon, Little Richard: I Am Everything explores how his music was appropriated by white artists for white audiences, while Little Richard himself remained uncredited.

As a Black queer man in the '50s, Little Richard's often contentious relationship with his own sexuality is placed front and center. Though he was originally open about his queerness, at various points in his life he would renounce his homosexuality and attempt to walk away from rock & roll altogether.

"He was very, very good at liberating other people," notes one of the scholars in the trailer. "He was not good at liberating himself."

Little Richard: I Am Everything will hit theaters for one-night-only screenings on April 11, then will play additional theaters and on digital on April 21. Check out the trailer above.

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