- Russell played with George Harrison and Bob Dylan at the 1971 "Concert for Bangladesh" at Madison Square Garden
- He got his start as an in-demand session player on dozens of hit records for other musicians
(CNN)Leon Russell, who emerged as a rock 'n' roll star in the 1970s after working behind the scenes as a session pianist for other musicians, died Sunday in Nashville, his wife Janet Bridges told CNN. He was 74.
My darling Leon Russell passed away last night. He was a mentor, inspiration and 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 #TheHandsOfAngels
A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on
CNN intern Tyler Burton contributed to this report.