Artists React To The Death of Leon Russell -
Leon Russell performs at the Palais in St Kilda on 25 April 2011. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Leon Russell. Photo by Ros O'Gorman

Artists React To The Death of Leon Russell

by Roger Wink, VVN Music on November 14, 2016

in News

It seems that we just did this for Leonard Cohen and we are back again with the reactions from over 25 artists on the passing of Leon Russell.

PHOTO GALLERY: Leon Russell at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre 2011 by Ros O’Gorman

Leon Russell died Sunday 13 November 2016 at his home in Nashville.

Elton John leads the tribute list:

Elton John
My darling Leon Russell passed away last night. He was a mentor, inspiration and so kind to me. Thank God we caught up with each other and made ‘The Union’. He got his reputation back and felt fulfilled. I loved him and always will. #LeonRussell #RIP #TheHandsOfAngels

Brian Wilson
So sad to hear about Leon’s passing. He was a wonderful music-maker and I will miss him. Love & Mercy, Brian

Al Jardine
I am so sorry that Leon has passed. He was so important to Beach Boys music and to all music everywhere, Tight Rope and This Masquerade. He was an incredible person to be with, damn it….Rest in peace, Leon, and thank you for all of your great music

Eric Clapton
I had the honour of playing on stage with Leon when I was in “Delaney and Bonnie and Friends”, we played “the Ghetto” with him on Hammond organ, unbelievable, he was a great inspiration, it’s a tremendous loss to music….ec

Sheryl Crow
So long, Leon Russelll. You played your heart out and we will miss you. Thank you for sharing your divine talent with us.

George Benson
Today the world lost a talented singer, songwriter, performer and my musical brother, the great #LeonRussell Thank you for writing one of the best songs of my career #Masquerade

Brian May
R.I.P. LEON RUSSELL, Songwriter and Musician dies at 74.

Responsible for so many wonderful, familiar songs. Check out his work. Another great talent lost in 2016.

Jimmy Webb
Sad to hear of the passing of fellow Okie, Leon Russell, a talented singer, songwriter and performer. Perhaps he’s reuniting with Joe Cocker for another “Mad Dogs And Englishmen” tour.

Yusuf/Cat Stevens
So sad to hear Leon Russell has passed away. A great influence and songwriter. God rest his soul

Booker T. Jones
RIP my friend of 50 years, generous trail blazer, Leon Russell, who rescued me and remained a gentleman throughout Hollywood’s trials.

Charlie Daniels
Just got word that Leon Russell has passed away

Rest in peace Leon

You left a lot of great music behind you.

Bruce Hornsby
Leon Russell (along with Elton John and later Keith Jarrett) was the inspiration that made me interested in and then consumed with playing piano and writing songs. He was completely unique, a deep soulful presence who had a groove and feel on the piano that was unmatched. He always wanted to write standards, songs that would become part of the Great American Songbook, and he did just that, writing such songs as “A Song For You” and “This Masquerade” that will be sung forever. But my favorite Leon was the wide open, incredibly joyous gospel-charged rockers that made his concerts so transformative and amazing.

I thought I had a pretty solid Leon imitation on the piano until I started working and hanging with him. Watching what he did up close was eye-opening, way deeper and more complex than what I’d been doing. He schooled me in old gospel piano traditions, like the COGIC (Church Of God In Christ) style from which he had drawn so much.

To hang out with Leon was to always emerge with a classic vignette, a memorable turn of phrase, a funny or amazing old story; he was a walking trove of information, inspiration and humorous anecdotes. This may be the part of him I’ll miss the most. But the music, of course, will live on, and I will always reference Shelter People, Leon and the New Grass Revival, Asylum Choir records for inspiration and pure enjoyment. Like a great many lifelong fans and friends, I’ll miss him forever.

Darlene Love
We lost one of the greatest piano players of all time! Leon & I got inducted into the R&R HALL OF FAME at the same time. He played on most of all the early Phil Spector sessions. He was a dear friend. Even played piano at my fathers church. RIP my dear friend!

Richard Marx
Shit. Now Leon. Hate this. What an extraordinary messenger of beauty he was. RIP #leonrussell

Sean Lennon

Leon Russell R.I.P. One of my biggest music and style icons. Seems like many of the greatest musicians are leaving the planet this year. There must be some kind of cosmic party in space happening we don’t know about. This planet will never be the same.

Julian Lennon
R.I.P. Leon….

Heart & Prayers to Family & Friends…

Olivia & Dhani Harrison
We lost another friend. RIP Dear Leon. – Olivia & Dhani

Chaka Khan
Goodbye to yet another prolific, iconic artist, Leon Russell. George Benson, the late Ray Charles & I covered one of his most memorable tunes at the 1991 Montreux Jazz Festival.

Steve Lukather
RIP Leon Russell.

Truly one of the greats…

David Paich
RIP Leon.

Thank you for a lifetime of coolness and inspiration.

Steve Martin
Read the obit, then listen to his masterpiece, Song for You. Leon Russell, Renowned Songwriter and Musician.

William “Bootsy” Collins
Another rock hard legend has changed frequencies, Mr. Leon Russell. Send out yr prayer’s & love vibes to his family & friends! R.I.P. Brother.

Martha Quinn of MTV
My older brother’s copy of Concert For Bangladesh introduced me to Leon Russell. After George Harrison announced, “Coupla numbers from Leon…” what jumped out of the grooves was an onslaught of funk and and boogie so awesome there was no doubt why the other musicians onstage, including Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan, were so reverent.

Known as “The Master of Space and Time” Leon passed away in his sleep early this morning at his home in Nashville, he was 74 years old.

Rest In Peace Leon Russell.

Chris Robinson
The master of space & time has left the planet. Long live the man under the top hat! Truly one of our biggest influences & a real American music legend! We love you Leon!

Keith Allison
Leon and I played on many recording sessions together in the 60’s & 70’s. Leon played on my first album I recorded as a solo artist. I loved his unique gospel, and rock style. He blazed the trail for all the great musicians from Tulsa who followed him to LA. PEACE AND LOVE, SWEET LEON.

Bobby Hart
Just heard the heartbreaking news that legendary Leon Russell (74) and friend has passed; our loving thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during their time of grief; the world has lost another great talent. R.I.P. Leon

Air Supply
A great loss to the music world. A legend has left us. Rest is peace Leon Russell.

Tedeschi Trucks Band
Farewell friend. It was an honor to watch you work Leon Russell.



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