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Paul Buckmaster, arranger for Bowie, Elton John and the Rolling Stones, dies at 71

Paul Buckmaster, the arranger and orchestra conductor who provided the atmospheric backdrop and sonic flourishes for Elton John, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones and other titans of rock over the decades, has died at 71.

Buckmaster worked extensively during his long and prolific career with John, providing the orchestral arrangements for radio favorites such as “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song,” and teamed with the Rolling Stones on darker fare like “Moonlight Mile” and “Sway” on the group’s “Sticky Fingers” album. And when Bowie recorded “Space Oddity,” Buckmaster helped give it an ominous depth with his arrangement.

“So heartbroken. He helped make me the artist I am,” John said in a tweet. “A revolutionary arranger who took my songs and made them soar.”

Buckmaster died Tuesday, his representatives, McDaniel Entertainment, announced on Twitter. A cause of death was not given, nor was it disclosed where he died. He had been living in Los Angeles for decades.

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