RIP: Rock Singer, Songwriter Leon Russell Dies at 74
“We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this very, very difficult time,” the statement said. “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.”
Over the course of his five-decade career, Russell performed with music superstars like The Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, Joe Cocker and George Harrison. He was also an accomplished songwriter, composing The Rolling Stones’ hit “Shine a Light,” and Joe Cocker’s “Delta Lady.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.
Billboard reports that fellow musicians and other stars immediately shared their tributes on social media following Russell’s death. Elton John shared a photo of himself and Russell working in a studio together, saying “I loved him and always will.”
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) November 13, 2016
Chaka Khan called Russell a prolific talent and shared a video of herself and Ray Charles covering one of his songs.
— Chaka Khan (@ChakaKhan) November 13, 2016
Whoopi Goldberg shared a favorite lyric.
The magnificent Leon Russell amazing musician, true superstar “Long ago and so far away,I fell in love with you..After the 2nd show” R.I.P
— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) November 13, 2016
And Booker T. Jones said goodbye to a friend of 50 years.
RIP my friend of 50 years, generous trail blazer, Leon Russell, who rescued me and remained a gentleman throughout Hollywood’s trials.
— Booker T. Jones (@BookerTJones) November 13, 2016
It’s clear from the tweets above that Russell will be missed.