Leon Russell was an American kid who started to play piano at the age of 4. He grew to be a famous musician and songwriter who made several best selling songs over his 60 years career in music. His genre included pop music, country, gospel, rock, blues etc. Leon Russell in the course of his career was awarded six gold records in recognition of his numerous beautiful songs.
Leon Russell Wiki, Biography, Death
Leon Russell was born and named Claude Russell Bridges on April 2, 1942, in Lawton, Oklahoma, United States. He went to Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma and did much of his growing up in Oklahoma. He learnt how to play the piano by age 4 and by 14 years old, he regularly performed at Tulsa nightclubs as he was more committed to promoting his music career than anything else.
He came up with the name Leon when his friend gave him a fake identity card which bore the name Leon so he can gain access to nightclubs as an adult while in reality, he was a still a very young teen. When Leon graduated from high school, he had already got a band named The Starlighters. They began touring for a couple of months playing music and making new fans even as Leon Russell was becoming more popular too.
At the age of 17 and precisely in 1959, young Russell left Oklahoma for Los Angeles as he found a regular job there as a musician for shows and studio recordings. This move greatly exposed him to the rudiments of making the type of music he had flair for. Leon was young and quick to learn, it wasn’t long till he found himself associating and in fact becoming a member of the famous if not evergreen Wrecking Crew music group. They were the best and highly sought after in the 1960’s. Young Leon was part of them at only 17.
During this time, he collaborated with several artists and made many great songs. One of his best-known songs, Song for You was released at this time. It had more than 40 versions of it released by more than 40 different artists.
The millennial years saw a reduced prominence of his music activities not until artists like Elton John and Bernie Taupin sought collaboration for a new album. They made The Union which was credited to Elton John and Leon Russell. This was in February 2010 and by October of the same year, the CD’s were out.
However, before the release of the making of the album in February 2010, Leon Russell had a medical condition known as brain fluid leak in January of 2010. This partly interrupted the recording as he was hospitalized for a brain surgery in addition to heart failure and pneumonia. He recovered from this and had a public performance with Elton John on April 2nd of 2011.
Leone died in his sleep at the age of 74 in his Nashville home in Mount Juliet Tennessee on November 13, 2016. The cause of the death is said to be natural causes and not associated to his previous surgeries. He had suffered a heart attack in 2016 and was of good health when he passed away. His funeral held on November 18 at Victory Baptist Church Mount Juliet Tennessee with a public memorial held in his honour at Roberts University Mabee Center on November 20 of 2016.
Leon Russell Wife, Children
Leon Russell was married to Mary McCreary on June 20, 1975. She was his musical partner but by 5 years later they called it quits with their marriage and got legally divorced on October 3, 1960. Before Mary, Leon had a daughter who was born on February 20, 1972. She was named Blueagle after American Artist Blue Eagle.
Mary McCreary gave birth to two children for Leon Russell during the course of their 5 years marriage. They were parents to Tina Rose and Teddy Jack a girl and a boy respectively.
Leon married Janet Lee Constantine on February 6, 1983, who gave birth to 3 daughters for him. They had Sugaree Noel on October 9, 1982, Honey on January 19, 1986, and Coco on April 29, 1990.
Leon Russell’s Net worth
Leon after his death has a net worth of $600, 000. He earned this from his career as a musician and songwriter.