Little Richard is retiring.

The rock 'n' roll pioneer - famed for his elaborate shows, outrageous costumes and larger-than-life showmanship - is set to bow out of music aged 80.

He told Rolling Stone magazine: ''I am done, in a sense. I don't feel like doing anything right now.''

Richard's health has been of concern in recent years, with him suffering from sciatica and a degenerating hip.

He has performed sporadically, but had to stop a show in 2012, telling the crowd: ''Jesus, please help me - I can't hardly breathe. It's horrible.''

Richard - born Richard Penniman in 1932 - had recovered sufficiently to headline the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend in March this year, which could end up being his last ever performance.

At that show Richard talked to the crowd about breaking his hip and how, because of his age, doctors told him he wouldn't survive an operation, so he no longer walks, but he added how lucky he felt to be alive and to still be able to sing.

Richard says he now spends his time designing clothes and praying, as well as thinking about how people will perceive his life's work.

He said: ''I think my legacy should be that when I started in showbusiness, there wasn't no such thing as rock 'n' roll... When I started with 'Tutti Frutti', that's when rock really started rocking.''