Billy Powell Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Nov 10, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Apr 24, 2022
Billy was an extremely talented piano player!
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Read time: 6.9 Min

About Billy Powell

Billy Powell was a self-taught American musician.
He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, on June 3, 1952, and grew up in a traveling military family. Billy's first musical instrument was the piano, which he acquired at age 13 for $25 from his church in Jacksonville, Florida.
Billy had an affinity for rock music from an early age and began playing with various groups around town before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1970 as their keyboardist. The group had actually been formed a few years before by band members- singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Gary Rossington, and drummer Bob Burns. The band's name was chosen based on the mutual dislike for a gym teacher named Leonard Skinner!
Three days after the release of Street Survivors, Skynyrd's chartered aircraft, Convair CV-240, crashed into a forest near McComb in Mississippi. The crash claimed the lives of the singer, guitarist, and his sister, Cassie Gaines, the assistant road manager, and the pilots. The remainder of the band suffered mild to severe injuries. Powell was the only survivor and suffered severe facial blemishes, almost losing his nose, but was otherwise somewhat uninjured. He was the first to be discharged from the hospital and the only member able to attend the funerals of his fallen bandmates. Billy stayed with the band until he died in 2009. Powell played keyboards and backing vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1972 to 1977 when he left briefly before returning permanently in 1987 until 2009. Billy also co-wrote many songs on their albums, such as 'Gimme Three Steps,' 'Sweet Home Alabama,' and 'Free Bird,' which became one of the most famous rock songs ever written!
If you'd like to learn more about this late music icon, then you are at the right place, so continue reading!

Billy Powell Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits

What was Billy Powell's net worth?

At the time of his death in 2009, Billy Powell had an estimated net worth of $1.6 million. He is most famous for being the lead keyboardist of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

How much did Billy Powell earn per year?

It is believed that Powell earned around $400 thousand each year from his music career.

Height, Age & Physical Attributes

How tall was Billy Powell?

Billy Powell's height was 5 ft 8 in (176.7 cm)!

How old was Billy Powell?

At the time of his death, Billy Powell was 56 years old. Powell died of a heart attack in his home on January 28, 2009, in Orange Park, Florida.

Childhood And Education

On June 3, 1956, Billy Powell was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since his father was a navy man, the family moved a lot due to his military posting. As a result, he spent a few years of his childhood in Italy. When he was nine, his dad passed away, and the family moved back to the States, where Powell and his siblings attended a military boarding school in Jacksonville, Florida called Bishop Kenny. Having the talent for music, he had the gift of playing out his own tunes precisely how he thought of it. After graduating high school, he enrolled himself at the Jacksonville Community College, where he studied Music Theory. The American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrdwas formed around 1964.
Initially, the name they chose for the band was My Backyard, and then they changed it to The Noble Five, and then finally they settled on 'Lynyrd Skynyrd.' After working as a roadie for the band, Powell let Ronnie Van Zant hear what he could do with a keyboard. Van Zant was highly impressed with what he heard and gave him the role of the keyboardist on the spot. From 1974 to 1975, the band began to garner attention from a massive audience and soon skyrocketed to fame. Their first album was a huge hit across the country as well.
Unfortunately, the dreams of this band turned into a nightmare when a plane chartered to carry the band for a tour crashed into a plot of Mississippi swamp mud. Powell was the only survivor, and after the loss of the other members, the band Lynyrd Skynyrd lost its soul. The band reunited a decade later after the fatal crash for their tribute tour, which happened in 1987. In the '80s, Powell became a Christian, giving up his 'hellraiser' status, and began playing in a Christian rock band named 'Vision.' Nonetheless, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 200 with Gary Rossington and Billy Powell as the only original members playing in the band.

Family, Romance, And Relationships

Who was Billy Powell's partner?

He is survived by his wife, Ellen Vera Powell, and five children-Ashley Powell, Maggie Powell, Layla Powell, Brandon Powell, and Joel Powell. Billy Powell had a history of heart problems that began a few years before he died. He died of a heart attack in Orange Park, Florida.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

Billy Powell was an American musician, best known as the keyboardist for the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1971 until he died in 2009.
Billy Powell is known for his work on Lynyrd Skynyrd: 'Sweet Home Alabama' (1996), 'Stars & Bars' (1988), and 'The Ballad of Billy the Kid' (2003). According to CNN, Billy Powell's death was caused by a heart attack at age 56. Billy Powell passed away in 2009, but he still lives on through his music! Billy Powell once said, 'I'm just a musician who likes to play music.'
Billy Powell played in a few other bands before joining Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was a member of the band The Rossington Collins Band from 1980 until his death, and also played with The Allen Collins Band, which former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Allen Collins formed.

Charity Work

Billy Powell was very active in charity work and gave back to the community in many ways. After Hurricane Katrina, Billy Powell organized a benefit concert to help the storm victims. Billy Powell also supported MusiCares, which provides health and human services to members of the music industry in need.

What awards had Billy Powell won?

Billy Powell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 2006. He is one of only two members still alive from that band, with the other being Gary Rossington (lead guitarist). Billy Powell also got Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental in 1988 (for 'Sweet Home Alabama'). Billy Powell was also nominated for Best Country Song Grammy nomination but lost out to Dolly Parton's song ‘I Will Always Love You.’
Billy Powell has won a total of 23 awards, including American Music Awards and MTV Video Music. Billy Powell has won many awards, including the following: Billy was inducted into Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1994 along with other members like Gary Rossington (lead guitarist), Billy Gibbons (vocalist), and Ronnie Van Zant( rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist).

Billy Powell's Hobbies And Interests

Billy Powell was a very interesting person with many hobbies and interests. Some of his favorite activities included playing golf, fishing, riding motorcycles, and spending time with his family. Billy Powell also had a passion for music and played the keyboard in several bands before Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was also into tennis and basketball.

Other Interesting Billy Powell Facts And Trivia

Billy Powell was not an original member of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band. It was only when the band members heard him on the keyboard that they made him part of the music group.
Many believe that he studied at the Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida, but that is not true! It only acted as a place where all the band members came to know each other. In fact, the name for the band was taken from the gym coach who taught at the school and for whom they all also shared a mutual dislike!
The fatal crash that claimed the lives of Powell's band members left him in a bad state of mental health. He found it difficult to grieve alone at it is believed that it was around this time when he drew closer to God. The rock singer was a devout Christian. He also took the initiative to arrange the funerals for all the group members that died and gave them a proper send-off.
Billy Powell was actually on tour a few months before he died. They had just performed in Connecticut in January and were set to perform in Mississippi and Louisana in the months to follow.
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Billy Powell Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Birth Name

William Norris Powell

Date of Birth

1952-06-03

Date of Death

2009-01-28

Nationality

American

Place of Birth

Corpus Christi

Height

176 cm

Eye Color

Blue

Child Star?

No

Occupation

Singer

Education

Jacksonville Community College

Net Worth

1,600,000

Partner

Ellen Vera Powell

Siblings

Rick Powell, Donna Powell

Annual Earnings

400000
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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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