Stephen Bruton dies

Guitarist was working on 'Crazy Heart' soundtrack

NEW YORK -- Stephen Bruton, a Texas-based guitarist and vocalist renowned for his work with Kris Kristofferson, T. Bone Burnett and others, died May 9 of complications from throat cancer. He was 60.

Bruton was working in Los Angeles with T. Bone Burnett on the film "Crazy Heart," where he was acting as music producer and composer.

Bruton's first break came in 1972 when he contributed guitars and vocals to Kristofferson's "Border Lord" album. Bruton would go on to be a long-time collaborator with Kristofferson and worked with him on Kristofferson forthcoming record, "Starlight and Stone."

Other highlights of Bruton's nearly 40-year career include guitar contributions and production credits on Carly Simon's "Another Passenger," Bonnie Raitt's mega-selling "Luck of the Draw" and numerous albums with Texas based singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo.

Bruton's songs were covered by a wide range of artists, including Raitt, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Patty Loveless.

Bruton also had acting roles in a number of films, including "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" (1973), "A Star Is Born" (1976), "Heaven's Gate" (1980), "Miss Congeniality" (2000) and "The Alamo" (2004).

"Stephen Bruton was the soul of Texas music," Burnett said. "This is an incalculable loss. He was my oldest friend and I loved him like a brother. I learned more from him than I can say."

Kristofferson told the Austin-American Statesman that Bruton "finally knew he was going after fighting it so hard for so long. I said I would see him again down the road, probably sooner than later."

A recording artist himself, Bruton released five solo records, with "What It Is" debuting in 1993. His latest release was 2005's "From the Five."

The funeral will be held in Fort Worth, Texas.
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