Leon Russell
Leon Russell has died at his home in Nashville aged 74 Getty

Session musician turned solo artist Leon Russell has died aged 74, his family has announced.

Born Claude Russell Bridges in Oklahoma, Russell established himself as one of the foremost session player in the 1960s and 1970s and performed alongside Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys before going it alone.

He also played backup for Joe Cocker and had Beatles John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr play on his self-entitled solo debut.

In total, Russell played on more than 35 albums. His solo career included hits Tight Rope and Lady Blue. He was recovering from a heart bypass that he underwent in July at the time of his death.

"Leon Russell died on Nov. 13, 2016 in Nashville at the age of 74. His wife said that he passed away in his sleep. The Master Of Space And Time was a legendary musician and songwriter originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma who performed his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years.

"Leon was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2011. Leon led the famous Joe Cocker's 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen' tour and performed with George Harrison and Friends at the Concert For Bangladesh. Leon has also toured with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, The New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson, and Sir Elton John."

Reacting to the news, Sir Elton tweeted his condolences:

Russell performed dozens of times across the United States this year and last appeared in Nashville in July. His concerts often ended with a rousing version of the Rolling Stones' Jumpin' Jack Flash and he was named as the top concert attraction in the world in 1973 by Billboard Magazine.

Fans have taken to a guestbook on Russell's website to pay tribute to the man they called the Master of Space and Time. "So saddened to hear of Leon's passing," one said. "I loved his music and he will always be on my playlist. Prayers for Him, his family and friends." "Heartbroken to hear about this," said another. "Saw Leon a few years ago here in Dallas enjoyed him so much. What a talent he was."