Leon Russell dead
Leon Russell has died.
The 'Tight Rope' hitmaker - born Claude Russell Bridges - passed away aged 74 at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday (13.11.16), although it has been reported the rocker had been "recovering from heart surgery", there has been no confirmation on the cause of death.
Leon's wife, Jan Bridges, released a statement, which read: "We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this very, very difficult time. My husband passed in his sleep in our Nashville home. He was recovering from heart surgery in July and looked forward to getting back on the road in January. We appreciate everyone's love and support."
Leon - who was known as the "Master of Space and Time" - had been in the music industry for more than 50 years, where he was known for his performances of piano rock, blues, and country. He was also a prolific songwriter, and had a hand in writing rock hits such as Joe Cocker's 'Delta Lady', and lending his musical talents to Beach Boys' 'California Girls'.
In 2011, Leon was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to both fields.
Elton John, who worked with Leon on the 2010 album 'The Union' tweeted shortly after the statement was released, dubbing the late star as an "inspiration".
He wrote: "My darling Leon Russell passed away last night. He was a mentor, inspiration & so kind to me. I loved him and always will #LeonRussell #RIP (sic)"
Kings Of Leon musician Nathan Followill also shared his condolences, tweeting: "RIP Leon Russell. #legend #Okie (sic)"
And Whoopi Goldberg called him an "amazing musician."
She wrote: "The magnificent Leon Russell amazing musician, true superstar "Long ago and so far away,I fell in love with you..After the 2nd show" R.I.P (sic)"