Pepper in Robert Stigwood 's film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Bandwhich was based on the Beatles' album of the same nameand sang and danced to "Get Back" as the penultimate song. His relationship with Harrison continued after the Beatles' break-up in ; Preston was the first artist to record Harrison's subsequent international hit " My Sweet Lord ", on his album Encouraging Wordswhich Harrison co-produced with him. He appeared on several of Harrison's s solo albums, starting with All Things Must Pass ; made a notable contribution to the Concert for Bangladeshthe Harrison-organized charity benefit; performed Mission Statement (To Billy Preston) the ex-Beatle on his tour of North America ; and played at the Concert for George tribute, held at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Preston also worked on solo releases by Lennon and Ringo Starr. The previous year, he contributed to another hit single when Stephen Stills asked to use Preston's phrase "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with ", a song on Stills' self-titled debut solo album.
Each of the three singles sold in excess of 1 million copies. FromPreston played keyboards including piano, organ, clavinet and various synthesizers for the Rolling Mission Statement (To Billy Preston)sometimes alongside pianists Nicky Hopkins and Ian Stewarton their albums Sticky FingersExile on Main St. As the band's primary touring keyboardist from tohe also performed as a support act with his own band including Mick Taylor on guitar on their European tour.
Inalong with Bruce Fisherone of his regular songwriting collaborators in the s, he composed one of Joe Cocker's biggest hits, " You Are So Beautiful ". On October 11,he was the first musical guest on Saturday Night Live ' s series premiere episode.
Although two of his songs were included in the band's and live sets, the Stones and Preston parted company inmainly due to a disagreement over money. Preston's career lost momentum in the s due to his cocaine and alcohol addictions. He served as musical director for Nightlifea late-night talk show hosted by David Brenner that lasted one season from to Preston toured with Eric Claptonrecorded with Gary Walker, one of the vocalists in his Los Angeles-based band, and worked with a wide range of other artists.
He also toured with Ringo Starrappearing on his live album. He was invited to become a member of The Band inafter the death of piano player Stan Szelest.
He performed on tour with the group,  but the sentencing from his cocaine and sexual assault charges in ended the collaboration. The same year he sang and played synthesizer in the film Blues Brothersas part of the Louisiana Gator Boys supergroup.
On November 29,while touring and fighting his own health problems, Preston received the news that George Harrison had died, having long suffered from throat cancer.
Preston's performance of "My Sweet Lord" received critical acclaim. Additionally, he sang " Isn't It a Pity ", provided backing vocals on most of the other songs, and played the Hammond organ for the show.
In Marchhe appeared on the American Idol fourth-season finale. Although very ill by this point, he jumped out of his bed after hearing a tape of the song given to him by the band, recorded his part, and went back to bed.
In latePreston made his last public performance, in Los Angeles, to publicize the re-release of the documentary film The Concert for Bangladesh. Preston lived in London for a time,  possibly around —, but he moved back to the United States sometime in the early s. Preston was brought up in the African-American gospel tradition; he was a committed Christian throughout his life and he openly expressed his faith in works such as his s hit " That's the Way God Planned It ".
Preston was also deeply attached to his mother, for whom he wrote the song that became his best-known composition, " You Are So Beautiful ". Although the details did not become fully known to the general public until after his death, Preston struggled throughout his life to cope with his homosexualityMission Statement (To Billy Preston) the lasting effects of the traumatic sexual abuse he suffered as a boy. Although his sexual orientation became known to friends and associates in the music world such as Keith RichardsPreston did not publicly come out as gay until just before he died: partly because he felt that it conflicted with his deeply held religious beliefs and his lifelong association with the church, he was in the closet until shortly before his death.
Keith Richards in his autobiography, Lifementioned    Preston's struggles with his homosexuality. In an interview for a BBC Radio 4 documentary on his life and career, Preston's manager Joyce Moore revealed that after she began handling his affairs, Preston opened up to her about the lifelong trauma he had suffered as the result of being sexually abused as a child. Preston told Moore that at about the age of nine, after he and his mother moved to Los Angeles from Houston to perform in a touring production of Amos 'n' Andyhe was repeatedly abused by the touring company's pianist.
When Preston told his mother about the abuse, she did not believe him, and failed to protect him. At this time Preston had Mission Statement (To Billy Preston) close friends with musician Sly Stoneand made many contributions to Stone's recordings of the period including the landmark album There's a Riot Goin' On. According to Moore, Preston was devastated when he came home one day to find Stone in bed with Silva who later famously married Stone on stage at Madison Square Garden.
According to Moore, Silva's affair with Stone was the trigger that led Preston to stop having relationships with women. It was after this incident that he began abusing cocaine and having sex with men, and Moore has stated that she saw his drug abuse as his way of Mission Statement (To Billy Preston) with the internal conflicts he felt about his sexual urges.
InPreston checked into a drug rehabilitation program to treat his addictions. While on probation for a drunk driving conviction in August Preston was arrested for sexually assaulting a year-old Mexican boy, after picking him up at a gathering point for day laborers. He entered no-contest pleas to the cocaine and assault charges. The sex charges which included misdemeanor charges of child molestation and exhibiting pornographic material to a minor were dismissed.
InPreston was sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating his probation on a drunk driving conviction. InPreston was sentenced to three years in a California prison for cocaine possession in violation of his probation. The probation and jail time ran concurrent with his cocaine possession conviction. Preston had suffered kidney disease in his later years, brought on by his hypertension. He received a kidney transplant inbut his health continued to deteriorate. He had voluntarily entered a drug rehabilitation clinic in Malibu, Mission Statement (To Billy Preston), Californiaat the suggestion of guitarist Is'real Benton, and suffered pericarditis there, leading to respiratory failure that left him in a coma from November 21, Ringo Starr, speaking during the rehearsals for the Concert for George incalled Preston one of the greatest Hammond players of all time.
You can spot his playing a mile off, whether it's the Hammond organ, the Fender Rhodes or the piano. He had such a spiritual touch to his technique, it made him completely unique. Preston was nominated for nine Grammy Awards and won two. Source: . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the American basketball player, see Billy Preston basketball. The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, Billy Preston, the splashy gospel-rooted keyboardist whose career included No. He was June 7, Retrieved February 22, April 13, Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music.
Psychology Press. Parlophone Records. Retrieved October 28, The Urban Music Scene. Archived from the original on December 12, The Washington Post.
Retrieved October 2, Pepper':Many Forms Involved". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 10, The Book of Golden Discs 2nd ed. London: Barrie and Jenkins. Billy Preston. BGO Records. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved September 16, The Morning Call. Retrieved November 5, Retrieved December 4, And he was gay at a time when nobody could be openly gay, which added difficulties to his life.
Billy could be, most of time, a bundle of fun. I had to stop him from beating up his boyfriend in an elevator once. He is also survived by other nieces, nephews, family members and many friends. There are no additional photos for Billy Ty Preston at this time.
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