Singer-songwriter Billy Preston (September 2, 1946 - June 6, 2006) was a child prodigy who got a very early start in the music business at age 10 playing keyboards with gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. At age 12, he played the role of young Will Handy in the 1958 movie, "St. Louis Blues," and he also made many other TV and movie appearances over the years.
Preston had a long string of hits on both the R&B (1971-1982) and Pop/Rock (1969-1982) charts including "Outa-Space" (1972), "Will It Go Round In Circles" (1973), and "Nothing From Nothing" (1974). He co-wrote "You Are So Beautiful" which became a smash hit for Joe Cocker in 1975. Preston was a prolific session musician and recorded "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" with the Beatles. He also performed and/or recorded with many other bands and artists including Little Richard, Sly and the Family Stone, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Syreeta Wright, Neil Diamond, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
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- Nothing From Nothing 1974
(This song topped the charts.)
- Outa-Space 1972
- Struttin' 1974
- Will It Go Round In Circles 1973
(This song, which topped the charts, was used as part of the soundtrack for the 1996 movie, "Beautiful Girls," starring Matt Dillon.)
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