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Elton John World News: Elton And Other Notables Talk About Preston

Elton And Other Notables Talk About Preston-- Posted by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday 7 June 2006 @ 17:52 - GMT

People have begun paying tribute to Billy Preston, who died yesterday.

Mick Jagger was one of the first, saying last night, "Billy was a fantastic and gifted musician. He was great fun to be with ... and I will miss him a lot.''

 Elton said Preston had been "one of my true inspirations, one of the greatest keyboard players of all time and not too shabby a vocalist either.''

And Neil Portnow, President of the Recording Academy, recalled him being a teen prodigy on both piano and organ, with an ''enviable reputation'' as a musician.

Indeed, the performer was just three years old when he began taking piano lessons, and ten when he played keyboards for gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.

He is survived by two sisters, and funeral arrangements are pending in Los Angeles.