US musician and rock and roll legend Leon Russell, who worked with artistes including George Harrison, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, has died. He was 74.
The musician died on Sunday in Nashville, Tennessee. His website quoted his wife, Jan Bridges, as saying that he passed away in his sleep.
He had suffered a heart attack in July, reports variety.com.
Raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Russell had a career of more than 50 years playing southern boogie-inflected piano, writing songs, and producing.
Among the hit songs he wrote were “Delta lady”, and “A song for you” recorded by Ray Charles, the Temptations, the Carpenters, Amy Winehouse, and Whitney Houston.
He played piano on the Rolling Stones’ “Get a line on you”, which he adapted from their “Shine a light” song and had a number one country hit with Willie Nelson performing Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak hotel”.
Other notable songs written or performed by him include “This masquerade” and “Superstar” made famous by the Carpenters.
Russell performed at the Concert for Bangladesh with George Harrison and Friends and toured with acts including musical duo Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, the New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson, and Elton John.
His piano playing can notably be heard on Badfinger’s “Day after day”.
He was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2011.
Musicians quickly took to social media to express their condolences on Sunday. Elton John called Russell a “mentor” and “inspiration”.