June 6, 2015

In memory of the great singer-songwriter and performer Billy Preston, who passed 9 years ago on June 6, 2006.

At a young age, acts like Little Richard, Mahalia Jackson or James Cleveland had a huge impact on Preston. He was then actually mentored by Ray Charles with whom he went to Germany in the early 60s. This is where he first met The Beatles, who were Ray Charles´s opening act. And as the story goes, a few years later Preston was named the Fifth Beatle as he performed on Let it Be, The White Album, Abbey Road, amongst others. Preston also played with the Rolling Stones, appeared regularly with Eric Clapton, and did the organ work on the greatest hits of Sly & the Family Stone. He can also be heard on albums by Neil Diamond or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His last recorded live concert turned out to be at Megabien´s  TV show Legends Rock that was produced in the south of France.

Preston´s own hits include Nothing from Nothing, Will it Go Round in Circles, and You Are So Beautiful, which Joe Cocker turned into a global hit. He became the first act signed to Apple Records resulting into the album That's the Way God Planned It.

Billy was not only a spectacular, genius performer and songwriter who put everything into the music, but also a wonderful human being with a mile wide smile and open heart.