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BILLY PRESTON’s career has spanned five decades, starting as a child prodigy playing the movie role of young W.C. Handy and then playing organ for the likes of Ray Charles and Little Richard. His accomplishments are highlighted by a string of hits and collaborations with some of the most celebrated names in the music industry.
Preston performed on the Beatles albums Let It Be, Abbey Road, and the “White Album.” In the late ’60s he worked with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on their solo project, Plastic Ono Band, as well as Ringo Starr’s solo single “Oh My My.” He is also known for his role as Sgt. Pepper in the 1978 film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In the 1970s and 1980s Preston scored a string of hit singles, including the Grammy-winning “Outta Space.” He penned the multi-platinum standard “You Are So Beautiful,” which was performed by Joe Cocker, and he co-wrote with Quincy Jones the score for the Sidney Poitier movie They Call Me Mr. Tibbs.
In 2004 Preston recorded on the last album of his mentor Ray Charles and toured with the Funk Brothers, Steve Winwood, and Eric Clapton. His own project saluting Charles is schedule for release in winter 2005.