Dream Weaver Crooner Gary Wright Dead At 80

Musician and composer Gary Wright, best known for his hit tracks "Dream Weaver" and "Love Is Alive," has died. He was 80 years old.

Wright's son, Justin, confirmed the tragic news to TMZ, sharing that the singer died on the morning of September 4, 2023, in his home in Palos Verdes Estates, California. He also shared that Wright's nurses had informed their family that his health was deteriorating rapidly in his last days. The crooner reportedly had Parkinson's disease, which he had been diagnosed with more than half a decade ago, as well as Lewy body dementia. Per Justin, Wright had been unable to move and speak properly because of his illnesses. "He managed it fairly well for a while," he told Rolling Stone. "But a few years ago, he needed professional help and home-care nurses and eventually 24-hour care."

Apart from his hit singles, Wright was also recognized for his work playing keyboards for George Harrison's albums, including "All Things Must Pass." He served as a session player for some of Ringo Starr's singles, too. However, his greatest contribution to the music industry is popularizing the use of synthesizers. "It was a big deal creatively because I had been working with basically a guitar-oriented band, which was Spooky Tooth," Wright told The Daytona Beach News-Journal in 2011. "I had never consciously sat down and said, 'I'm going to do an all-keyboard album.' It just fell into place as I was writing the songs for the album." 

Tributes pour for Gary Wright

Gary Wright's peers and fans took to social media to share their condolences and pen the late rockstar some heartfelt messages. Singer Stephen Bishop wrote on Twitter that Wright had a "vibrant personality and exceptional talent" and that he has always shown "warmth and kindness." Meanwhile, David Pack, co-founder of rock band Ambrosia, shared on Facebook that he was fortunate to have witnessed his longtime friend "evolve into a true music star." He also noted that they were neighbors and that Wright "would walk to my house with a bag of fresh tomatoes from his garden with his gardening hat."

Wright's fans also spoke highly of him in their respective tributes. "An ethereal trip to the astral plane, riding the haunting tenor of Gary Wright. Hope there's someone to meet you on the other side. RIP," one fan wrote. "Gonna miss him. This song in the 70s was my mantra as a young man & led my way to California! #RIP to the original Dream Weaver, Gary Wright," said another.

According to Justin, Wright died surrounded by his family and loved ones.