Leon Russell Dead At 74: Musicians React To Legendary Songwriter's Passing
Leon Russell, the prolific musician and songwriter died Sunday Nov. 13 at the age of 74. The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee died in his sleep according to his website. Musicians such Elton Jon, Ringo Starr and Carole King all offered their sympathies and tributes to Russell after learning of his death on Sunday.
"We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this very, very difficult time," wrote Russell's wife Jan Bridges in a statement. "My husband passed in his sleep in our Nashville home. He was recovering from heart surgery in July and looked forward to getting back on the road in January. We appreciate everyone's love and support."
He was born outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1942. Over his more than 50-year career, he was a prolific songwriter, session musician and released more than 30 albums. He collaborated with the likes of Elton Jon, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and George Harrison, among other rock, blues and country greats over his lengthy career.
He was nicknamed "The master of space and Time." His track "A Song for You" was covered by artists such as Donny Hathaway, Andy Williams, the Temptations and Willie Nelson with Ray Charles, who won the 1993 Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. A duet by Herbie Hancock and Christina Aguilera of the same song landed a Grammy nomination in 2005.
My darling Leon Russell passed away last night. He was a mentor, inspiration and so kind to me. Thank God we caught up with each other and made "The Union". He got his reputation back and felt fulfilled. I loved him and always will. #LeonRussell #RIP #TheHandsOfAngels
A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on Nov 13, 2016 at 6:57am PST
R.I.P. Leon Russell https://t.co/utk2XAOUjG — Carole King (@Carole_King) November 13, 2016
A photo posted by Gregg Allman (@officialgreggallman) on Nov 13, 2016 at 11:31am PST
God bless Leon Russell peace and love to all his family peace and love — #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) November 13, 2016
A photo posted by @taylorhansonmusic on Nov 13, 2016 at 5:10pm PST
RIP Leon Russell. #legend #Okie — nathan followill (@doctorfollowill) November 13, 2016
RIP to the singular Leon Russell, a titan of American music. Another light out in the universe.
— Okkervil River (@okkervilriver) November 13, 2016
Today the world lost a talented singer, songwriter, performer and my musical brother, the great #LeonRussell... https://t.co/W88z4HQZ1d — George Benson (@GBguitar) November 13, 2016
— Chaka Khan (@ChakaKhan) November 13, 2016