Legendary songwriter and musician Leon Russell has passed away at the age of 74. According to Russell’s official website, the musician passed in his sleep and had been dealing with multiple health issues following a heart attack in July and surgery to stop the leakage of brain fluid back in 2010 according to Reuters.
Russell’s career was not defined by his brief time in the spotlight, but more what he did behind the scenes. He was a member of the legendary Wrecking Crew and penned a bevy of hit songs that have been covered by artists across five decades:
Among the hit songs he wrote were “Delta Lady,” recorded by Cocker,;”A Song for You,” recorded by the Temptations, the Carpenters, Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston; and The Stone’s “Shine a Light” (“Get a Line on You.”)
Other notable songs included “This Masquerade,” a hit for George Benson “and “Heartbreak Hotel” with Willie Nelson. Russell performed at the Concert for Bangladesh with George Harrison and Friends and toured with acts including Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, The New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson and Elton John.