Leon Russell suffers heart attack

Leon Russell suffers heart attack

NASHVILLE, TN — Quick Facts:

  • Leon Russell, rock legend and Oklahoma native, suffered a heart attack last week
  • Representatives say he should make a full recovery
  • Russell is schedule for surgery at a later date

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell, 74, suffered a heart attack last week.

Content Continues Below

He is stable, and his representatives are optimistic for a full recovery. The Grammy-winning musician is undergoing tests and is scheduled for an upcoming surgery.

Born Russell Bridges, he changed his name to Leon Russell after relocating to Los Angeles from his home in Oklahoma. Born in Lawton, Russell graduated from Will ROgers in Tulsa.

He started playing nightclubs in Tulsa at the age of 14, playing with fellow rock legend JJ Cale.

Russell is one of the great contributors to Rock and Roll, Russell’s nearly sixty-year career has spanned recording some of the great 1960s music as a Hollywood session musician to his own “superstar” status beginning in the 1970s, to recording and touring with Elton John in this decade.

Elton John calls Russell on of his inspirations and helped induct him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.  He's also in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

As a musician and songwriter he worked with people like BB King, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and Joe Cocker.

Russell’s touring schedule is on hold. His family and representatives will update the public soon on his recovery and revised concert dates. He last played Tulsa at the Hard Rock in June.

An extensive collection covering Russell’s illustrious career will be housed at the new OKPOP museum in Tulsa.