|Net Worth||$1 Million|
|Height||Musician, Singer-songwriter, Bandleader, Keyboard Player, Actor, Songwriter|
|Profession||United States of America|
|Date of Birth||Sep 2, 1946 – Jun 6, 2006 (59 years old)|
Billy Preston Net Worth:
How much did Billy Preston earn & Net Worth?
At the time of his death, American musician Billy Preston had a net worth of $1 million. The value of Billy’s music repertoire and royalty stream would increase by many millions of dollars over time after his death. Billy Preston passed away on June 6, 2006 at age 59.
In the 1960s, Billy was one of the best session keyboardists. Throughout the decade, he provided backing for such prominent musicians as Little Richard, Ray Charles, the Rolling Stones, and the Beatles. Later on, Preston had solo success with a string of hit singles, including “Outa-Space,” “Nothing from Nothing,” and “With You I’m Born Again.”
Early Life and Beginnings of Career
Billy Preston was born in Houston, Texas on September 2, 1946, and was raised in Los Angeles by his mother, Robbie. As a child prodigy, he self-taught himself music, and by age 10, he was playing the organ as backing for gospel singers such as Mahalia Jackson. Preston debuted on Nat King Cole’s television show when he was 11 years old, performing “Blueberry Hill” with the famed singer. Shortly thereafter, he participated in the film “St. Louis Blues,” which starred Cole.
Employment with the Beatles
In 1962, Preston joined Little Richard’s band as the organist, and while performing in Hamburg, he met the Beatles. In 1969, when the Beatles were on the verge of disbanding, they met each other again in a more fortunate circumstance. Preston’s close buddy George Harrison had left the band to attend a Ray Charles concert at which Preston was playing organ. Harrison then summoned Preston to the studio, where he was able to ease some of the tension among the Beatles.
Preston performed organ and electric piano on a number of “Get Back” sessions. He also joined the Beatles on electric piano at their historic rooftop farewell performance. “Get Back” was ascribed to both the Beatles and Preston in April of 1969. Preston performed organ on “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Something” from “Abbey Road” in addition to his contributions to the “Get Back” sessions.
1963 saw the publication of Preston’s debut solo album, “16 Year Old Soul.” This was followed by the 1965 publication of the instrumental album “The Most Exciting Organ Ever” while Preston was a frequent performer on the musical variety television program “Shindig!” In 1969, while signing to the Beatles’ Apple label, Preston recorded “That’s the Way God Planned It,” which was produced by George Harrison and became a success single in the United Kingdom. After the Beatles disbanded in 1970, Preston continued to collaborate with Harrison, performing on numerous of Harrison’s solo projects. After leaving Apple and joining with A&M Records in 1971, he released “I Wrote a Simple Song,” his most commercially successful album to date. The album gave birth to the successful instrumental tune “Outa-Space,” which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 before winning the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
In 1972, Preston released the album “Music is My Life,” which included the number-one song “Will it Go Round in Circles.” Subsequently, he had significant singles with “Nothing from Nothing” from his 1974 album “The Kids & Me” and “Space Race” from “Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music.” After seven years with A&M, Preston joined with Motown in 1979. The song “With You I’m Born Again,” which he sang with Syreeta Wright, reached number four in the US. In the 1980s, due to his alcohol and cocaine problems, Preston lost most of his professional momentum and relied primarily on session work. During this time, he released the albums “The Way I Am,” “Pressin’ On,” “On the Air,” and “You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down.” In 1995, after a nine-year absence, Preston released “Billy’s Back.” “You and I” was his final solo studio album, released in 1997.
Throughout the 1970s, among his many other renowned collaborations, Preston played keyboards for the Rolling Stones. Between 1973 and 1977, he was the band’s principal touring keyboardist and contributed to albums such as “Sticky Fingers,” “Exile on Main St.,” and “Black and Blue.” Beyond the Stones, Preston penned “You Are So Beautiful,” one of Joe Cocker’s biggest singles. Throughout the 1980s, Preston performed session work for Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, and Whitney Houston, among others. Additionally, he traveled with performers including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, and the Band.
Preston performed on Johnny Cash’s album “American IV: The Man Comes Around” in the early 2000s. He subsequently toured with the Funk Brothers and Steve Winwood before reuniting with Eric Clapton for European and North American tours. In addition, Preston appeared on the album “Genius Loves Company” by Ray Charles. Following that, he collaborated with the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their album “Stadium Arcadium.” Preston’s last recorded work was in 2005 and 2006, when he contributed to the albums “12 Song” by Neil Diamond and “The Road to Escondido” by Eric Clapton and J. J. Cale.
Preston battled throughout his life to embrace his homosexuality and deal with the repercussions of the sexual assault he suffered as a youngster. He did not come out publicly as gay until soon before his death. Preston was engaged to actress and model Kathy Silva until he arrived home one day to discover her in bed with his friend and partner Sly Stone. He broke off the engagement.
Drug Dependence and Legal Problems
After ending his relationship with Silva, Preston began misusing cocaine and alcohol as a coping mechanism. He attended a drug rehabilitation program in 1991 to cure his addictions. However, while on probation that summer, he ran into significant difficulty when he was arrested for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old child. Preston was sentenced to nine months of rehabilitation and three months of home arrest after the sex charges were later withdrawn. In 1997, he was sentenced to three years in jail for cocaine possession, as he continued to court problems throughout the subsequent years. After he burned down his Los Angeles house, he was indicted for a $1 million insurance fraud plan while incarcerated. Preston served 18 months of a four-year term at Avenal State Prison, where he also conducted religious services.
Preston went away in June 2006 while in a coma due to respiratory failure. In 2002, he was given a kidney transplant after suffering from renal disease in his latter years. A variety of his friends and colleagues, including Joe Cocker, Little Richard, and Merry Clayton, attended his three-hour burial.