Singer-songwriter Gary Wright, best known for his 1970s hits “Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive,” has died at the age of 80, TMZ reported.
Wright, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia, died at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California, his son told TMZ. Wright had been battling Parkinson’s for six years and was recently diagnosed with dementia before his death.
Wright’s son said that the singer’s Parkinson’s progressed rapidly over the past year, depriving his dad of the ability to walk and speak, according to TMZ. People Magazine reported that Wright died with his family by his side. (RELATED: Tony Bennet’s Last Moments With His Son Danny Revealed)
“He was a phenomenal musician and a truly peace and loving human being. The word devoted comes to mind,” Elizabeth Freund, a rep for Wright, told People. “I was always struck by his deep and enduring love for his darling wife Rose who I’m thinking of now. Your Love Is Alive – now and always Gary.”
Singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop posted a memorial to Wright, tweeting, “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.”
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. Gary’s vibrant personality and… pic.twitter.com/r7bwnIhKME
— Stephen Bishop (@BishSongs) September 4, 2023
Although Wright is best known for the big 1970s hits “Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive,” he also produced 12 albums, as well as numerous compilations and collaborations with other musicians.
Perhaps one of his famous partnerships was with legendary former Beetle, George Harrison. Wright played keyboard on Harrison’s album, “All Things Must Pass,” and was credited with assisting on other solo songs too, according to TMZ.
Besides his work with famous artists, TMZ noted that Wright did a lot of work for music in general, including being one of the first mainstream artists to use the synthesizer in pop music.
David Pack, co-founder of 1970s rock group Ambrosia, posted a testimonial to his friend on Facebook after hearing of his passing.
“Goodbye Gary Wright. With a heavy sigh, I sadly send my love to Gary’s wife, Rose, Gary’s son, Dorian Wright, and extended family. My friend Gary Wright ascended to heaven,” Pack wrote.