Musician. A soul musician from Houston, Texas, he was teen prodigy on piano and organ who eventually was mentored by and played with Ray Charles. Often called the Fifth Beatle because he played keyboards for the Beatles on "Let It Be," "The White Album" and "Abbey Road" and was the only guest artist to get a credit on a Beatles single when "Get Back" was credited as "The Beatles with Billy Preston" and entered the United Kingdom's Singles Chart at number one. Also performed frequently with the Rolling Stones and on their hit song "Miss You," and often played with Eric Clapton. His own hits include "Nothing From Nothing," "Will It Go Round in Circles," the international hit "You Are So Beautiful" and "Outta Space" which won best instrumental Grammy in 1973. Most recently played on the 2005 re-release of the album "The Concert for Bangladesh" by long-time friend George Harrison, and Friends, and in Stadium Arcadium on the Red Hot Chili Peppers' album "Warlocks" in 2006. His discography lists 38 albums, 18 of them solo performances. He was the first musician guest to appear on Saturday Night Live, in 1975. Died in Scottsdale, Arizona, of long-term complications from kidney failure related to malignant hypertension.
Bio by: Fred Beisser
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