Billy Preston (September 2, 1946, Houston – June 6, 2006, Scottsdale) was an American keyboardist. During his musical career, he worked with such performers as Mahalia Jackson, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Sam Cook, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and Elton John. His career embraced soul, R & B, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll.
William Everett Preston was a child prodigy. Since early childhood he had been playing the piano on his mother’s knee. At the age of ten he performed for gospel giants Mahalia Jackson and James Cleveland.