Leon Russell (born Claude Russell Bridges; April 2, 1942 – November 13, 2016) was an American musician and songwriter who was involved with numerous bestselling pop music records during his 60-year career.
His collaborations rank as some of the most successful in music history, and as a touring musician he performed with hundreds of notable artists. He recorded 33 albums and at least 430 songs. He wrote "Delta Lady", recorded by Joe Cocker, and organized and performed with Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour in 1970. His "A Song for You", added to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2018, has been recorded by more than 200 artists, and his "This Masquerade" by more than 75.
As a pianist, he played in his early years on albums by The Beach Boys, Dick Dale and Jan and Dean. On his first album, Leon Russell, in 1970, the musicians included Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison.
Russell produced and played in recording sessions for, among others, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Ike & Tina Turner, and The Rolling Stones.