Entertainment & Arts

Rock'n'roll legend Leon Russell dies at 74

Leon Russell performs during the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards in New York June 16, 2011. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Leon Russell performing during the Songwriters Hall of Fame awards in 2011

Leon Russell, an America rock'n'roll hall of famer, died 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", his website says.

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".

Russell's 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, Russell 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.

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