Claude Russell Bridges (born April 2, 1942), known professionally as Leon Russell, is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, and guitarist.
Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, Russell attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this time he was already performing at Tulsa nightclubs. He became a session musician, becoming a keyboardist who has worked with many notable musicians since the 1960s. By the late 1960s, Russell diversified, first to writing songs, and then working his way from gigs as a sideman to joining bands as a full member. Eventually, he began solo recording, although he never ended all his previous roles within the music industry.
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