The 83-year-old rocker, real name Richard Wayne Penniman, has suffered from a string of severe health problems in recent years, and on Tuesday (03May16), Parliament-Funkadelic bass guitarist Bootsy Collins sparked fears that his friend was experiencing a health crisis in a post on Twitter.

He wrote: "A friend, a legend & some say the true King of Rock & Roll. Lil-Richard needs our love & understanding right now."

The post was linked to a lengthy Oxford American magazine article from December last year (15) about the Tutti Frutti rocker's health problems.

The article, by David Ramsey, detailed Little Richard's health problems since a hip operation in 2009. He also reportedly suffered a heart attack in 2013.

In the piece, the rock 'n' roller is quoted as saying, "I'm really not interested in... (giving a full interview) right now, baby. I've been real sick. I'm sick, I'm really trying to get well, baby."

However, Richard's lawyer, William Sobel, explains he has spoken with the musician and he insists he is "healthy".

"He said, 'You know, I want you to talk to (the press) because I'm really annoyed," he tells RollingStone.com. "This thing started on Facebook. Not only is my family not gathering around me because I'm ill, but I'm still singing. I don't perform like I used to, but I have my singing voice, I walk around, I had hip surgery a while ago but I'm healthy.'"

"He had hip surgery," Sobel adds. "He's 83. I don't know how many 83-year-olds still get up and rock it out every week, but in light of the rumours, I wanted to tell you that he's vivacious and conversant about a ton of different things and he's still very active in a daily routine."