Meet the Houstonian who was often known as the fifth Beatle

29th January 1972:  American keyboardist Billy Preston in London following the release of his new single 'I Wrote A Simple Song'. Preston played with countless stars including Sam Cooke, the Beatles and Sly and the Family Stone.  (Photo by Ian Showell/Keystone/Getty Images)
29th January 1972: American keyboardist Billy Preston in London following the release of his new single 'I Wrote A Simple Song'. Preston played with countless stars including Sam Cooke, the Beatles and Sly and the Family Stone. (Photo by Ian Showell/Keystone/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

These four men are known around the world for changing the music industry forever. They are arguably the most influential musicians of all time.

While there were early members throughout the Beatles’ existence, one Houstonian was claimed as the fifth member of this band and helped lead the group to a successful album. His name was Billy Preston.

Singer, songwriter and keyboardist Billy Preston was born on Sept. 2, 1946, in Houston.

He famously played with many talented musicians including the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton, among others.

In 1962, at age 15, Preston moved to Europe and was hired by Little Richard for his European tour. It was this tour that led Preston to the Beatles who, at the time, were Little Richard’s opening act.

A couple of years went by and Preston returned to America where he joined Ray Charle’s band according to the New York Times. It was during this time that George Harrison recruited the Houston-native.