Singer-songwriter and keyboardist Billy Preston is recovering from a recent bout with a serious infection of the sac encasing of his heart.
“Billy had a very catastrophic incident happen to him, but he is doing considerably better,” his manager, Joyce Moore, told The Associated Press on Thursday.
Preston, 59, is best known for his work with the Beatles, playing the organ on their song “Get Back.” He also toured with the Rolling Stones and was a regular member of Eric Clapton’s band. His hits include “Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing,” “Will It Go Round in Circles?” and “You Are So Beautiful To Me.”
He has suffered from chronic kidney failure brought on by uncontrolled high blood pressure since 2001, Moore said. He had a kidney transplant in 2002, but the kidney failed and he has been on thrice-weekly dialysis treatments ever since.
Moore said that while Preston isn’t “brain dead” as some reports suggested, he remains seriously ill and is not up and walking around. He cannot speak because he has a tracheotomy.
He moved to Scottsdale, Ariz. from Los Angeles about a year and a half ago, Moore said, because he believed he could get better medical treatment in Arizona, home to a branch of the Mayo Clinic.
Moore said he’s not hospitalized at the clinic, but is in a facility where he can receive physical therapy and other medical treatment.
Preston is not contemplating another kidney transplant, she said.
“He just decided that he could not go through that again,” Moore said.