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Music World Loses “The Fifth Beatle”

Most music lovers recognize the name Billy Preston, but few know of his many accomplishments, not the least of which included his appearance as keyboard player on some of The Beatles albums and hit singles such as “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down.” In fact, Billy was the only musician rewarded by the band with a co-credit on their Apple label, which led many to dub him “the fifth Beatle.” He even appeared in the group’s final concert atop the roof of Apple Studios in London. In the 1970s, Preston was a hot solo act, a Grammy winner and a songwriter whose credits include Joe Cocker’s 1974 hit, “You Are So Beautiful.” He also played on many Beatles solo albums, as well as performing regularly live and in the studio with the Rolling Stones. “Billy was fantastic and gifted musician,” said Mick Jagger. “He was great fun to be with … and I will miss him a lot.”

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