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|Also Known As:||Died:||June 6, 2006|
|Born:||September 2, 1946||Cause of Death:||chronic kidney failure|
|Birth Place:||Houston, Texas, USA||Profession:||Music ...|
One of the funkiest organ players of the 1960s and 1970s, Billy Preston's gospel-tinged keyboards and vocals graced a handful of hit singles, including "Outa-Space" and "Will It Go Round in Circles," but his contributions to other artists' recordings, including the Beatles' "Get Back" and songs by the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Ray Charles and others were the foundation on which his legendary status was built. A child musical prodigy, he began performing at the age of 10 and recorded his first album when he was just 16. Stints with Little Richard and Ray Charles led to his participation in the recording sessions for the Beatles' Let It Be (1969) album, for which he contributed the soaring organ part on the title track. His association with the Beatles and George Harrison in particular led to a solo career that peaked in the mid-1970s with the aforementioned hits and guest appearances on countless major records. His career and health took a downward turn due to drug and legal problems in the 1980s and 1990s, but he mounted an impressive comeback at the end of the decade before medical issues claimed his life in 2006. Preston left behind an incredible body of work, spread over a half-century of popular music, with some of the century's greatest artists, as well as his own stellar solo efforts.
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