George Winston, acclaimed solo pianist, dead at 73

George Winston, an acclaimed solo pianist who sold more than 15 million albums during his career, died Sunday. He was 73.

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Winston’s death was confirmed on his website, according to Rolling Stone. He had been battling cancer for 10 years, undergoing a bone marrow transplant in 2013.

“George courageously managed serious cancers, including having a successful bone marrow transplant for Myelodysplastic Syndrome in 2013 at City of Hope, in Duarte, California, that gratefully extended his life by 10 years,” the announcement on the musician’s website stated. “Throughout his cancer treatments, George continued to write and record new music, and he stayed true to his greatest passion: performing for live audiences while raising funds for Feeding America to help fight the national hunger crisis along with donating proceeds from each of his concerts to local food banks.”

Winston began his career playing what he called “folk piano,” Variety reported. His first album, “Ballads and Blues,” was recorded in 1972, but he did not rise to prominence until the release of “Autumn” in 1980 and “December” two years later, according to the entertainment news website.

Those two albums, along with “Winter Into Spring,” were certified platinum in the U.S., Rolling Stone reported.

A five-time Grammy Award nominee, Winston won Best New Age Album honors in 1996 for “Forest.”

Winston partnered with actress Meryl Streep for a special LP, “The Velveteen Rabbit,” according to Rolling Stone. In 1988 he provided music for “This Is America, Charlie Brown,” the magazine reported.

He launched his own label, Dancing Cat Records, in 1983, and specialized in Hawaiian music, Deadline reported.

His 16th and final album, “Night,” was released on May 6, 2022, according to Deadline.

Born on Dec. 26, 1949, in Hart, Michigan, Winston was raised in Montana, Mississippi, and Florida, according to Pitchfork. He graduated from Coral Gables High School in suburban Miami in 1967 and then attended Stetson University.

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