WASHINGTON — Musician Gary Wright, who was made famous by hit singles such as "Dream Weaver" and "Love is Alive" died Monday, according to reports from several outlets. He was 80.
TMZ was the first to report Wright's death, saying that his son, Justin Wright, confirmed his passing at Wright's home in Palos Verdes Estates in California.
Wright had been battling Parkinson's disease for several years, and had also been diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, which is one of the most common forms of dementia and affects the thinking, memory and movement of those who suffer from it.
Wright died with his loved ones by his side, his son said.
News of his death quickly spread across the music world.
Ambrosia co-founder David Pack posted a tribute on Facebook to his friend, calling him a "true music star."
"It’s with a heavy sigh that I bid farewell to a dear friend, the incomparable Gary Wright," he wrote. "I send deep condolences to his family including Rose, Dorian, & Justin. Starting with Spooky Tooth, I watched Gary evolve into a true music star. He was a legend with his breakthrough hits dream Weaver and my love is alive, as well as play keyboards on every George Harrison solo album. I truly believe Gary is in paradise and he and George are already working on new music. I cherished Gary as my neighbor that I had for so many years. He would walk to my house with a bag of fresh tomatoes from his garden with his gardening hat. That’s the real Gary, a smile on face, wanting to share with his neighbor. That’s the spirit that wrote those classic songs."
Pack's message included a photo of the pair rocking together on stage.
Singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop also posted a tribute to social media, writing on X (formerly Twitter) that Wright's "vibrant personality and exceptional talent made every moment together truly enjoyable."
Wright was a founding member of the UK band Spooky Tooth, and played with several well-known musicians starting in the late 60s — including on all of George Harrison's solo albums.
He was also featured by Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band and B.B. King, among other musical greats.
But Wright's career is best known for his solo work, which included hits such as "Dream Weaver," a synth-heavy ballad that was a showcase of evolving music in the 70s.
It's the latest musical death in recent days to rock the industry. Friday, "Margaritaville" singer Jimmy Buffett died at 76. And Monday, the same day Wright's death was announced, former Smash Mouth singer Steve Harwell died at age 56.