Music Tribute on the Death of Leon Russell

Music Tribute on the Death of Leon Russell

Abigail Finnerty '19, Contributing Writer

Songwriter, producer, and performer —  Leon Russell was all of these.  Russell passed away quietly on Sunday November 13 at age 74, but he left a significant impact on music culture and society.  Russell played and produced on recording sessions with Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Ike and Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, and others.  

Russell also performed some of his hits himself, such as “Tight Rope” and “Lady Blue.”  His first album titled “Leon Russell” featured the vocal talents of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison.  Russell’s former collaborator Ringo Starr shared his condolences on Twitter: “God bless Leon Russell; peace and love to all his family; peace and love.” Other celebrities such as comedian Steve Martin, singer-songwriter Carole King, and actor Samuel L. Jackson published tributes to Russell.  

At Montrose, Nora Cahill ‘19 said: “It is a truly devastating loss to the music industry.” Mariel Rosati ‘19 added: “He was a great addition to pop culture and music. I’m sure his legacy will live on forever.”  When MaJo Arena Dominguez ‘19 found out about Russell’s passing, she became speechless and immediately started listening to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” a Russell-produced song.  

Russell died peacefully during his sleep in his home in Nashville.  Thank you, Leon Russell, for giving us the gift of your music!