Billy Preston

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Billy Preston
Billy Preston visiting the White House in 1974
Billy Preston visiting the White House in 1974
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Everett Preston
Born(1946-09-02)September 2, 1946
Houston, Texas, United States
DiedJune 6, 2006(2006-06-06) (aged 59)
Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
GenresRhythm and blues, rock, soul, funk, gospel
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, bandleader, actor
InstrumentsKeyboards, organ, piano, electric piano, vocals, harpsichord, accordion, drums
Years active1956–2005
LabelsDerby, Vee-Jay, Apple Records, Capitol, Buddah, A&M, Motown
Associated actsSam Cooke, The Beatles, Sly & the Family Stone, King Curtis, The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton

Billy Preston (September 2, 1946 - June 5, 2006) was an American R&B musician. He is best known for his piano and organ playing.

Preston began playing piano when he was three years old. He worked with many other musicians including Aretha Franklin, Sammy Davis Jr., Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, the Jackson 5 and the Rolling Stones.

He worked on The Beatles's last album, Let It Be, in 1969, including the song "Get Back". Many people thought that Preston would join the group, but the Beatles broke up shortly afterwards. He later worked with George Harrison, who had been a Beatle.

Preston's biggest success also came from working with another musician. He did a duet with Syreeta Garrett on "With You I'm Born Again" in 1979. It sold over a million copies and reached Number 2 in the United Kingdom singles chart.

Preston was gay. He died of respiratory failure after being in a coma from a heart infection.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Pareles, Jon (June 7, 2006). "Billy Preston, 59, Soul Musician, Is Dead; Renowned Keyboardist and Collaborator". New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2015.