Rocker Leon Russell dies in Nashville

Photo: Carl Lender / CC BY 2.0
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Musician Leon Russell, a top session player in the 1960s and '70s who later had a successful solo career with such hits as "Tight Rope" and "Lady Blue," has died. He was 74.

An email from Leon Russell Records to The Associated Press says Russell died in Nashville "last night." The email cites Russell's wife as the source of the information. Russell had heart bypass surgery in July and was recovering from that at the time of his death.

The musician's website says that he died Sunday.

Russell was primarily a keyboard player. He played back up for Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys and many other artists. John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr played on Russells' solo debut, "Leon Russell."

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