Gary Wright, singer-songwriter known for hit Dream Weaver and playing with George Harrison, dies at 80 after Parkinson’s and dementia struggle
- Wright is best known for influential all-keyboard album The Dream Weaver (1975)
- After that hit, he moved into world and new age music, as well as film scoring
- Wright also played keyboards on George Harrison’s classic All Things Must Pass
Gary Wright, the musician known for the 1976 hit Dream Weaver and major work on former Beatle George Harrison’s greatest solo album, has died at the age of 80.
He said the singer–songwriter had been battling Parkinson’s disease for five to six years, and more recently had developed Lewy body dementia.
Justin added that the composer’s Parkinson’s symptoms had gotten considerably worse in the past year, unfortunately leaving Gary without the ability to speak or move much.
He added that home nurses who had cared for the musician informed his family members a few days ago that he was nearing the end.
Following news of his death, tributes began pouring online, with many remarking on his legacy and contribution to music.
‘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,’ Stephen Bishop tweeted. ‘Gary’s vibrant personality and exceptional talent made every moment together truly enjoyable.’
The two-time Grammy nominee continued: ‘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.’
‘So sorry to hear about the passing of Gary Wright. He was one of the nicest rock stars I ever had the pleasure of interviewing, and he leaves behind a wonderful body of work. Condolences to his family, friends and fans,’ radio personality, Andre Gardner, wrote on Twitter.
Another, who seemingly was also referencing Margaritaville singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett’s passing over the weekend, tweeted: ‘Rest in peace Gary Wright. It seems like everything and everyone is fading away.’
Singer-songwriter Al Stewart, best known for his 1976 hit single Year of the Cat, also took to the platform to mourn the loss of his longtime pal.
‘Rest in peace, Gary Wright. Al and Gary were friends for a long time, and it was Gary who introduced Al to his touring band, The Empty Pockets. Al and Jill Stewart would like to send their condolences to Gary’s wife, Rose, and his family,’ he tweeted.
His highest-charting songs, Dream Weaver and Love Is Alive both peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
He was born and raised in Cresskill, New Jersey. At just seven, he made his TV debut at the age of seven on the show Captain Video and His Video Rangers.
This sparked his love of the entertainment industry, and led him to appear in various TV and radio commercials, before landing a role in 1954 Broadway production of the musical Fanny.
He spent two years with the production, starring opposite of Florence Henderson.
During his adolescence, he studied piano and organ and led to him performing in various local rock bands with his peers while attending Tenafly High School.