Gary Wright — the singer-songwriter best known for his iconic single “Dream Weaver,” has died. He was 80.
Wright died Monday at his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California, according to his son, Justin, who confirmed the news to Variety, and revealed that his dad has been struggling with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia for the past several years.
Born and raised in Cresskill, New Jersey, Wright went on to move to Europe for his college studies and began performing solo before co-founding the UK rock group Spooky Tooth in 1967.
Wright also played keyboards on George Harrison’s triple album, and his first solo album post-Beatles, All Things Must Pass, in 1970. His friendship with Harrison influenced his appreciation for new age genre and sound and played a big role in Wright’s breakthrough album, The Dream Weaver, released in 1975.
The record — his third studio album and his most successful album by some margin — contained his two biggest hit singles, “Dream Weaver” and “Love Is Alive.”
Wright’s last charting single was 1981’s “Really Wanna Know You,” and he also rerecorded a new version of “Dream Weaver” for the soundtrack to Wayne’s World in 1992, which thrust the song back into the spotlight.
Wright’s 12th and final solo album, Connected, came out in 2010, while a Greatest Hits compilation album hit shelves in 2017.
Fellow musician and friend Stephen Bishop took to X(Twitter) on Monday to pay tribute to Wright, alongside some photos of the late artist.
“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 exceptional talent made every moment together truly enjoyable. His legacy will live on for many years to come. I will always cherish the warmth and kindness shown to me by Gary and his wife Rose, and I will forever hold dear the stories he shared with me about days gone by. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.”
Wright is survived by his wife, Rose, and his two children, Justin and Dorian.