Leon Russell, an America rock’n’roll hall of famer, died today in his sleep at the age of 74 in Nashville, Tennessee.

He was famed for his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music.

Russell played anonymously as a studio pianist in the 1960s before his breakthrough in the 1970s.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011. Elton John has called him his “biggest influence as a piano player, a singer and a songwriter”.

Leon had a relatively brief period of stardom in the 70s which was later revived in 2010 with the help of Elton John when the two collaborated on an album called The Union. The record took third place in a list of 2010’s best albums by Rolling Stone magazine.

Over his career, Leon recorded more than 35 albums and was best known for his A Song for You. The song was recorded and covered by the Carpenters, the Temptations, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and his good friend Willie Nelson.

Leon released his last solo studio album, Life Journey, in 2014.


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