Singer and Keyboardist Gary Wright Dies at 80

Gary Wright
kpa/United Archives via Getty Images

Musician Gary Wright, best known for hit singles “Love is Alive” and “Dream Weaver,” passed away at 80. His son confirmed the news but did not share a cause of death, although he had reportedly been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease several years ago. Wright was a talented singer and keyboardist who worked with many other famous artists over the years including Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and B.B. King.

Wright got the music bug early in life as he performed on Broadway as a child in a version of Fanny. Although when he got older he decided to become a doctor, music was always in his life and he was constantly in different bands. In the ’60s, Wright was a founding member of the U.K. band Spooky Tooth after being convinced by the founder of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, that he should come to London and pursue music full-time.

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 15: Recording artist Gary Wright performs during the David Foster and Friends concert at the Mandalay Bay Events Center October 15, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

While Spooky Tooth never quite hit it big, Wright’s talent did create quite a stir and he began working as a session player for many other artists. In the ’70s, he signed with A&M Records to work on a solo album called Extraction. It was at that time that he met the Beatles and began working with many of the members, becoming particularly close with Harrison. While working on his solo career and with Harrison, he also reformed Spooky Tooth and they released two more albums.

Later on, he moved to New York and was signed with Warner Bro. Records. This is the era when his popular song “Dream Weaver” was released, inspired by a trip to India with Harrison. In the ’90s, he worked on more instrumental and soundtrack work and even made a special appearance in the film Wayne’s World. His final album, Connected, was released in 2010 and he went on a revival tour with Spooky Tooth in 2004 as well as toured with Ringo’s All-Starr Band.

MUNICH, GERMANY - JUNE 28: Gary Wright and Rose Wright attend the Willy Bogner Gala as part of Filmfest Muenchen 2014 at Gasteig on June 28, 2014 in Munich, Germany.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for Filmfest Muenchen

He is survived by his wife Rose and his two sons.

70s Pop Idols
Want More?

70s Pop Idols

May 2019

The biggest and best from the worlds of rock and disco!

Buy This Issue
More Of This: