"Fifth Beatle" Billy Preston Dies
Tue, 06 Jun 2006 11:54:42
Billy Preston, a singer-songwriter best known for his keyboard work on The Beatles' Abbey Road and Let It Be albums, died of kidney failure today (June 6) at a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he lived for the past several years. He was 59.
Preston had been suffering from health complications since 2002, when he underwent an unsuccessful kidney transplant. After several years of dialysis treatments, Preston lapsed into a coma last November, according to his manager, Joyce Moore.
"He had a very, very beautiful last few hours and a really beautiful passing," Moore told the Associated Press. "He went home good."
Following the breakup of the Beatles, Preston went on to have a very successful career as a solo artist and sideman for numerous superstar acts, including The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton. His keyboards could be most recently heard on Neil Diamond's 12 Songs album, released last year. Preston's own hits included "Nothing From Nothing" and "Outta Space," for which he won a Grammy.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff