Billy Preston -- the singer and keyboardist famous for his work with the
Beatles during the Let It Be sessions at Abbey Road studios and most recently heard on the Rolling Stones' Bridges To Babylon -- was sentenced Monday to three years in a California prison for cocaine possession in violation of probation, reports the Los Angeles Times.
"We've got enough famous people six feet under the ground," said Superior
Court Judge Bernard J. Kamins in sentencing the 51-year-old Preston. "We
don't need to add another one."
The writer of Joe Cocker's 1975 hit "You Are So Beautiful," Preston
appeared often with the Rolling Stones live and on record during the
1970s. He had a #1 hit with "Nothing from Nothing" in 1974, and won
Grammys in '72 for his single "Outa-Space" (best instrumental performance)
and for his work on the album Concert for Bangladesh (best album).
Earlier this year, Preston was handed three years probation for cocaine
possession. Though he agreed at that time to spend 90 days drug free in
jail, he did not serve the term and has tested positive for narcotics use on
several occasions since, according to the Times.
Pledging to clean himself up in a plea for leniency, a teary Preston told
the judge, "I do believe that God has his hands on me and that he has work
for me to do." Chris Nelson [Wed., Nov. 5,
1997, 4:00 p.m. PST]