Sunday, November 20, 2016

Elton Remembers His Darling Friend Leon Russell

Elton John is leading the tributes to his late friend and collaborator Leon Russell following his death early on Sunday (13Nov16).

The music icon, 74, passed away in his sleep at his home in Nashville, Tennessee and his friends and fans have flocked to social media to honour his memory.

Elton was among the first to comment on the loss of his old pal, who he had once opened for in the early days of his career. The Rocket Man hitmaker later returned the favour by helping Russell make a career comeback after recruiting him for their joint album The Union in 2010, and he helped to induct the Oklahoma native into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

"My darling Leon Russell passed away last night (sic)," he wrote in a sweet post on Instagram. "He was a mentor, inspiration & so kind to me. Thank God we caught up with each other and made 'The Union.' He got his reputation back and felt fulfilled. I loved him and always will #LeonRussell #RIP".

Actor and bluegrass musician Steve Martin shared a link to a Rolling Stone article about Russell's legacy, and captioned it, "Read the obit, then listen to his masterpiece, Song for You. Leon Russell, Renowned Songwriter and Musician."

"So sad to hear Leon Russell has passed away," tweeted Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens. "A great influence and songwriter. God rest his soul."

Country rocker Charlie Daniels shared, "Just got word that Leon Russell has passed away Rest in peace Leon You left a lot of great music behind you (sic)," and Sheryl Crow posted, "So long, Leon Russell. You played your heart out and we will miss you. Thank you for sharing your divine talent with us."

Actress Whoopi Goldberg tweeted, "The magnificent Leon Russell amazing musician, true superstar". She then quoted a line from his hit Superstar, written by Russell and Bonnie Bramlett, adding, "'Long ago and so far away,I fell in love with you..After the 2nd show' R.I.P".

Other tributes also poured in from Chaka Khan, George Benson, Kings of Leon's Nathan Followill, and sibling trio Hanson.

The funeral home says that Elton, Bruce Hornsby, and Willie Nelson will be some of the honorary pallbearers.


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