Leon Russell: 1942–2016

Author:
Publish date:
Image placeholder title

PHOTO: Al Pereira | Getty Images

Leon Russell, songwriter, pianist, and guitarist, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Nashville at 74.

The legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had a heart attack this summer — and suffered through other health problems the past few years — but he was allegedly planning to get back on the road in 2017.

Russell's career spans so many musical highlights across a rainbow of different styles: Arranging for the Monkees, being a part of Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" and the Wrecking Crew, doing sessions for everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones, leading Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen, performing at the Concert for Bangladesh, writing "Superstar" (with Bonnie Bramlett) for the Carpenters and other hits ("A Song For You," "Delta Lady," "This Masquerade," "Tightrope," etc.), and making a duet record with Elton John in 2011.

Image placeholder title

Russell performing at the Concert for Bangladesh with George Harrison

and Bob Dylan (Michael Ochs Archives | Getty Images)

These are simply a few selected highlights from a man who shaped the music of so many artists and touched a vast audience of fans.

To celebrate this great artist, here's a clip from the rehearsals for the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971 with George Harrison and Eric Clapton.

RELATED