An Evening With Leon Russell

Legendary American singer and pianist Leon Russell has entertained the world for five decades, getting his start as an in-demand session player and playing on hundreds of hit records before he began releasing his own albums in 1967. One of popular music’s most celebrated musicians; Russell’s songs have hit the charts across several genres and have been covered by a diverse range of artists. It seems like there’s almost nothing Leon Russell hasn’t done. The Tulsa-born musician came to prominence as a member of Phil Spector’s legendary studio band and a session player who recorded with everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones. He was one of the highlights of George Harrison’s historic Concert for Bangladesh and he produced several songs for Bob Dylan. During the 1970s, his own albums—released on his own pioneering label, Shelter Records—made him one of the biggest concert draws in America, and he wrote two songs that would go on to become true modern standards: “Superstar” (co-written with Bonnie Bramlett) and “A Song For You.” Though he chose to retreat from the spotlight, Russell never stopped touring and releasing music on his own, and his gospel infused, soul-country blend continues to echo through the work of such artists as Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown and Kid Rock. In 2010, he and longtime fan Elton John collaborated on The Union, one of the year’s most acclaimed records and a Top Five hit. In 2011, Russell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Most recently, on April 1 of this year, the day before his 72nd birthday, Leon Russell released a new studio album, titled Life Journey, via Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). For our latest installment in our flagship An Evening With series, please join us in welcoming Leon Russell to the Clive Davis Theater for an in-depth interview, moderated by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. After the interview, Russell will perform a few songs on piano.