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Leon Russell
Leon Russel April 2009.jpg
Russell performing at a concert in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 2009
Background information
Birth name Claude Russell Bridges
Also known as Hank Wilson & Leon Russell
Born (1942-04-02)April 2, 1942
Lawton, Oklahoma, United States
Died November 13, 2016(2016-11-13) (aged 74)
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Genres Country, rock, folk, rhythm and blues, folk rock, blues rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano, organ, guitar, bass guitar, mandolin
Years active 1956–2016
Labels Capitol, Shelter Records, Paradise Records

Leon Russell (born Claude Russell Bridges; April 2, 1942 – November 13, 2016) was an American musician and songwriter. He recorded as a session musician and sideman. He had a solo career. He had 31 albums to his credit and recorded about 430 songs.

He wrote the song "Delta Lady", recorded by Joe Cocker. He also organized Cocker's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" tour in 1970. More than 100 artists have recorded his "A Song for You" (1970).

Russell produced and played in recording sessions for Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Ike & Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, and others. He wrote and recorded the hits "Tight Rope" and "Lady Blue". In 2011 he was added into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and introduced by longtime friend Elton John.

Russell died in his sleep at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 13, 2016 from heart failure while recovering from heart surgery, at the age of 74.

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