Jump to content

Singer/Songwriter Billy Preston


TV_Paige
 Share

Recommended Posts

ap_100BW.jpg

Singer/Songwriter Billy Preston

by Bob Christie

billy_preston_nice.jpgBillyPreston_today.jpg

'Nothing From Nothing' Singer/Songwriter Billy Preston . . . yesterday and today

PHOENIX, Arizona -- Billy Preston, the exuberant keyboardist who landed dream gigs with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and enjoyed his own series of hit singles including "Outta Space" and "Nothing From Nothing" died on Tuesday, June 6. He was 59.

Preston's longtime manager, Joyce Moore, said Preston had been in a coma since November in a care facility and was taken to a Scottsdale hospital Saturday after his condition deteriorated. "He had a very, very beautiful last few hours and a really beautiful passing," Moore said by telephone from Germany.

Preston had battled chronic kidney failure, and he received a kidney transplant in 2002. But the kidney failed and he has been on dialysis ever since, Moore said earlier this year.

billy_fro.jpg

Billy Preston with his signature Afro

Known for his big smile and towering Afro, Preston was a teen prodigy on the piano and organ, and lent his gospel-tinged touch to classics such as the Beatles' "Get Back" and the Stones' "Can't You Hear Me Knocking?"

He broke out as a solo artist in the 1970s, winning a best instrumental Grammy in 1973 for "Outta Space," and scoring other hits with "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Nothing From Nothing" and "With You I'm Born Again," a duet with Syreeta Wright. He also wrote Joe Cocker's weeper, "You Are So Beautiful."

Other career highlights included being a musical guest, in 1975, on the debut of "Saturday Night Live" and having a song named after him by Miles Davis. Preston appeared last year on "American Idol." Among his film credits are "Blues Brothers 2000" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

billy2.jpg

Billy Preston as 'Sgt. Pepper'

His partnership with the Beatles began in early 1969 when friend George Harrison recruited him to play on "Let It Be," a back-to-basics film and record project that nearly broke down because of feuding among band members. Harrison himself quit at one point, walking out on camera after arguing with Paul McCartney.

Preston not only inspired the Beatles to get along

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share








Living Room

Living Room

Please enter your display name

×
×
  • Create New...