Leon Russell died in his sleep in at his home in Nashville, Tennessee, on November 13, 2016, at the age of 74, his wife said in a statement on his website. In 2010, he underwent surgery to stop leaking brain fluid, and he suffered a heart attack in July 2016. He was recovering from heart surgery.
Elton John, who had once been Russell’s opening act, said “He was my biggest influence as a piano player, a singer and a songwriter.” On hearing of Russell’s death, he said “My darling Leon Russell passed away last night. He was a mentor, inspiration and so kind to me.”