Leon Russell

Leon Russell is a legendary songwriter whose credits include “A Song For You,” “This Masquerade,” “ Delta Lady,” “ Tight Rope,” “Bluebird,” “ Back To The Island,” and “Hummingbird.” Joe Cocker had a hit with “Delta Lady,” B.B. King with “Hummingbird,” and The Carpenters with “Superstar,” which Leon co-wrote with Bonnie Bramlett.  George Benson’s recording of “This Masquerade” won the Grammy® Award for Best Record of The Year in 1977 and was the only song with vocals on his triple Platinum album, Breezin. Russell had his own chart success with “Tight Rope” at #11 in 1972 and “Bluebird” at #14 in 1975. Russell’s song, “If It Wasn’t for Bad,” from his 2010 duet album The Union, with Elton John, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Russell was well known as a session musician in Los Angeles during the 1960’s, and played on hit records by The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, and many others. Russell will be honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the first recipient of the Award for Musical Excellence in March 2011.