Saturday, April 20, 2024

Billy Preston Remembered: Six Years Gone, and His Estate is Still in Chaos


Billy Preston, the Fifth Beatle, long time accompanist for The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton, and a pop star in his own right, died six years ago today. He was 59 and had been in a coma for months. Billy’s still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though he had major hits like “Nothing from Nothing” and “Will it Go Round in Circles.” He is the only artist ever to be featured on a label with the Beatles– on “Get Back.” His keyboard playing is heard throughout the “Let it Be” album. Keith Richards has credited him for inventing the sound of “Miss You.”

Believe it or not, Billy’s estate is still in chaos after six years. His manager, Joyce Moore, a friend of mine in full disclosure, took such excellent care of Billy in his last few years. She was also his business partner. Preston did not have much use for his own family. He thought he was leaving his estate in good hands with Moore. Nevertheless, his sister and half-sister have continued to fight Moore. Also, celebrity bankruptcy receiver R. Todd Neilson has waged a crazy war against Moore in the courts. It’s a shame. The case is very convoluted, and misguided. More on that soon.

Meantime, here’s a video link for Billy and Sam “Soul Man” Moore singing Billy’s “You are So Beautiful.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News