Biography Of Billy Preston (Gospel Artist)

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William Everett “Billy” Preston (September 2, 1946 – June 6, 2006) was an American musician whose work included R&B, rock,soul, funk and gospel. A virtuoso keyboardist, particularly on Hammond organ, Preston was recognized as a top session musician in the 1960s, during which he backed artists such as Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and the Beatles. He then went on to achieve fame as a solo artist, with hit pop singles including “That’s the Way God Planned It”, “Outa-Space”, “Will It Go Round in Circles”, “Space Race”, and “Nothing from Nothing”. In addition, Preston co-wrote “You Are So Beautiful”, which became a number 5 hit for Joe Cocker, and Stephen Stills asked Preston if he could use his phrase “if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” and created the hit song.

Preston was the only musician to be credited on a Beatles recording other than the group’s four members: the group’s number-one hit “Get Back” billed as “The Beatles with Billy Preston”. Preston continued to record and perform with other artists, notably George Harrison after the Beatles’ break-up, and Eric Clapton, and he played keyboards for the Rolling Stones on many of the group’s albums and tours during the 1970s.

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