Gary Wright Passes Away, Aged 80

5 September 2023 | 10:19 am | Mary Varvaris

"Gary’s vibrant personality and exceptional talent made every moment together truly enjoyable."

Gary Wright

Gary Wright (Source: YouTube)

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Gary Wright, the American singer and keytar player, has died at the age of 80, TMZ reports.

The publication learned of Wright’s passing from his son, Justin, who confirmed that his father died on Monday (4 September) after a multi-year battle with Parkinson’s disease that started “five or six years ago”. Shortly after, Wright received a diagnosis of Lewy body dementia.

Wright is best known for his 1970s hits, Love Is Alive and Dream Weaver. But to fellow musicians and music critics, the artist is renowned for popularising synthesisers and keytars in rock and pop music.

Wright also has a connection with The Beatles, performing on George Harrison’s 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass and was a part of Ringo Starr’s All-Star band.

Before his music career began, Wright was a child actor who, as a multi-talented artist, performed on the Broadway musical Fanny. While in London, Wright joined the band Spooky Tooth and, composed the song Sunshine Help Me and co-wrote six other tracks on the band’s 1968 debut album, It’s All About.

By 1970, Wright had gone solo. Gary Wright released twelve solo studio albums, with his most recent, Connections, released in 2010. The singer also unveiled three compilation albums – The Best of Gary Wright: The Dream Weaver in 1998, The Essentials in 2003, and Greatest Hits in 2017.

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American singer-songwriter and Wright’s peer, Stephen Bishop, wrote in tribute to his friend on Twitter: “It is with great sadness that I received the news of my dear friend Gary Wright’s passing. The attached photos hold precious memories from the very first and last time we shared the stage together, alongside our mutual musical pal John Ford Coley.

“Gary’s vibrant personality and exceptional talent made every moment together truly enjoyable. His legacy will live on for many years to come. I will always cherish the warmth and kindness shown to me by Gary and his wife Rose, and I will forever hold dear the stories he shared with me about days gone by.

“My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.”