He broke out as a solo artist in the 1970s, winning a best instrumental Grammy in 1973 for "Outta Space," and scoring other hits with "Will It Go 'Round In Circles," "Nothing From Nothing" and "With You I'm Born Again," a duet with Syreeta Wright.
He also wrote Joe Cocker's weeper, "You Are So Beautiful," and co-wrote with Quincy Jones the score for 1970 movie "They Call Me Mr. Tibbs." Other achievements included being a musical guest on the 1975 debut of "Saturday Night Live," and having a song named after him by Miles Davis. Among his film credits: "Blues Brothers 2000" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
How very sad. He died of kidney failure. He had a kidney transplant in 2002.
Anything listed on the park maps as an attraction is fair game for inclusion in the Rally.
I cannot confirm nor deny the inclusion of any attraction in the Rally.
Re: Rest In Peace - The One and Only Billy Preston
Billy Preston's memory honored in Calif.
Updated 6/21/2006 5:59 PM ET
By Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images
Keyboardist Billy Preston, seen here at the 2005 American Idol finale, died June 6.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Joe Cocker sang, Little Richard reminisced, and hundreds of friends and relatives of Billy Preston celebrated his musical legacy Tuesday during a funeral as vibrant as Preston himself.
A brass band played a rollicking version of Amazing Grace during a service filled with tributes to the prolific songwriter and keyboardist who played with the Beatles so often he was sometimes called the fifth member of the band.
Preston died June 6 at a hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz., at age 59. He battled chronic kidney failure, received a kidney transplant in 2002 and had been in a coma since November.
"He made that piano walk and talk," said Little Richard, who discovered Preston, then in high school, took him on tour in the early 1960s and introduced the teen prodigy to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
"There's nobody in this world who could play the piano like Billy Preston," Little Richard told the crowd in the Faithful Central Bible Church's Tabernacle Worship Center.
Earlier, Cocker elicited shouts and thunderous applause when he sang the ballad You Are So Beautiful— written by Preston but made famous by the raspy-voiced singer.
A gospel choir clad in bright red sang throughout the almost three-hour service. Other musical performers included Preston's longtime gospel troupe, former Temptations lead vocalist Ali Woodson and singer Merry Clayton.
The mourners also heard letters written by Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and others who toured and recorded with Preston.
"I am deeply saddened to lose such a wonderful friend," McCartney wrote. "I love you Billy."
Bonnie Raitt, also in a letter, said Preston was "one of the most soulful artists I ever knew."
Besides a robust solo career, and his work with the Stones and the Beatles, Preston performed in recording sessions with Aretha Franklin, Sly and the Family Stone and Bob Dylan.
He lent his gospel-tinged touch on piano and organ to classics such as the Beatles' Get Back and the Stones' Can't You Hear Me Knocking?
Known for his ample Afro and gap-toothed grin, Preston broke out as a solo artist in the 1970s, winning a best instrumental Grammy in 1973 for Outta Space, and scoring other hits with Will It Go 'Round In Circles, Nothing From Nothing.
His duet with Syreeta Wright, With You I'm Born Again, became a favorite at weddings.
In 1975, Preston sang on the debut of Saturday Night Live. Last year he appeared on American Idol.