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Billy Preston 1946-2006

14 Jun 2006

Billy Preston 1946-2006

Genesis subscribers may already know of Billy Preston's passing, 6th June 2006. At Genesis we would like to offer our condolences to all his many friends and family.

Billy is known by many as 'the fifth Beatle', joining the band as he did for Let It Be, The White Album and Abbey Road. A wonderful association to have in its own right, it is perhaps the tip of the iceberg when considering the entire span of Billy's career. During his life he wrote, performed and recorded alongside artists such as Ray Charles, Little Richard, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, The Jackson Five, Sly and the Family Stone, Barbara Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr., Stevie Winwood and Quincy Jones, to name a few.

To see and hear him play was a wonderful experience. The recent DVD releases of Concert for Bangladesh and Concert for George faithfully preserve two phenomenal live performances.

At Genesis we were honoured to have Billy give his considered contribution to the Concert For George limited edition book, and to our George Martin DVD project. As the keyboardist on The Rolling Stones Tour of The Americas 1975, he of course features in this recent book as well. It was a privilege to meet with him, and at Genesis we are remembering his bright and gentle manner.

Subscribers can read more about Billy's life and make donations in his name at

Photo by Christopher Simon Sykes

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