American musician and composer best known for his 1976 hit songs “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive,” Gary Wright died at the age of 80.
Wright’s son, Justin, confirmed to Rolling Stone and Billboard that his father died on Monday at his Palos Verdes Estates home after battling Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia for the past six years.
Justin Wright said his dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s six or seven years ago before also receiving a dementia diagnosis. “He managed it fairly well for a while. But a few years ago, he needed professional help and home-care nurses and eventually 24-hour care,” Justin told RS.
Wright was born on April 26, 1943, in Cresskill, N.J., and began his career as a child actor in shows including Captain Video and His Video Rangers before joining the Broadway cast of Fanny in 1954.
He also served as the band’s principal songwriter on their recordings – among them, the well-regarded albums Spooky Two (1969) and You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw (1973).
Also, during the early 1970s, Wright played on notable recordings by B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, and Ronnie Spector, while his musical association with Harrison endured until shortly before the latter’s death in 2001.
‘Dream Weaver’ Singer, Gary Wright Died at Age 80