Gary Wright has died after a long battle with his health … TMZ has learned.
Justin Wright, Gary’s son, tells us his father passed away Monday morning at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, CA — which is in the South Bay. We’re told he’d been diagnosed with Parkinson’s about 5 or 6 years ago, as well as Lewy body dementia shortly thereafter.
Gary’s Parkinson’s progressed rapidly over the past year, and Justin says his dad eventually lost the ability to move around and speak. Over the past few days, we’re told, nurses who were working at Gary’s home told the family he was entering his final chapter.
His family and loved ones were by his side at the time of his death — word of which has already started to spread in the music world, including to singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop.
Bishop posted 2 shots of him and Gary, adding … “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.”
He adds, “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.”
Gary will, perhaps, best be remembered for two massive songs he churned out in the mid-1970s — “Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive” — but his catalog goes well beyond just that.
He ended up producing 12 different albums dating back to 1970 … not to mention a ton of compilations and collaborations he did with other musicians. One of the famous partnerships he was a part of for a while was with none other than former Beatle George Harrison.
Gary served as the keyboardist on George’s album “All Things Must Pass” and is credited with helping out on other solo songs of George’s too. George returned the favor for one of Gary’s albums, having worked on “Footprints.”
Gary has done a lot for music in general — he’s also known as one of the first mainstream artists to introduce the synthesizer in pop … which has become a staple in the biz today.