Leon Russell, one of the most popular rock stars of all time, has disappeared in the world music scene. He is a talented artist who can write gorgeous melodies in just 10 minutes.
Russell once shared that when he was born, he was a music writer, not the kind of musician who was working hard day after day to edit his song to the best. He said that if he sat down and wrote down something for a few minutes, it would certainly be great. And if that didn’t happen, he feared that his piece could not be completed or was bad!
Perhaps because of following the style of writing unlike someone, Russell’s hits, whether written for himself or on orders of other singers, are all unique. From Tight Rope, Lady Blue to A Song For You (he only composed in 10 minutes), Hummingbird and more for big names like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Eric Clapton, etc.
Like many musical legends, Leon Russell soon showed his innate talent for music as a child. At the age of four, he learned to play the piano and he joined a youth music club in Oklahoma, USA at the age of 14. Interestingly, during that period, Russell had no intention of becoming a musician. He merely loved the instrument and wanted to work as a musician, packing in Los Angeles in the late 50s at the age of 20, to work in several studios as well as clubs until he started playing music in the disco.
But it was this magical city that turned Leon Russell’s thoughts far from their original meaning. He soon realized that he needed to do something more than perform music in bars or for great artists, starting with joining the band Mad Dogs & Englishmen and joining George Harrison in 1971.
2010 can be said to be a turning point in both his career and life. The album, with Elton John, received a platinum disc in the US, helping him regain his peak performance. However, at this stage, Russell’s health deteriorated. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 74, ending a splendid life of a rock star.