Paul Buckmaster, Grammy-Winning Arranger on ‘Space Oddity,’ ‘Tiny Dancer’ and More, Dies at 71

Grammy-winning composer, arranger, and conductor Paul Buckmaster died Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to his rep. He was 71.

The London-born Buckmaster was a quintessential “you might not know his name but you’ve definitely heard his work” musician: His majestic arrangements and orchestrations are prominent on David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” Elton John’s “Your Song” and “Tiny Dancer,” Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” the Rolling Stones’ “Moonlight Mile,” Nilsson’s “Without You” and many, many others. Over a career that spanned nearly 50 years, he also worked with Miles Davis on his 1972 “On the Corner” album, Brandi Carlile, Goo Goo Dolls, Idina Menzel, Ben Folds, Kelly Clarkson and Chris Cornell’s final recording, “The Promise.”

He also worked extensively on film soundtracks, including Terry Gilliam’s 1995 flick “12 Monkeys” and, with Bowie, an unreleased soundtrack for the 1975 film “The Man Who Fell to Earth.”

He won a Grammy in 2002 (for Best Arranger Accompanying Vocal) for his work on Train’s “Drops of Jupiter,” and also arranged the strings for Taylor Swift’s “Back to December.”

Further details and funeral arrangement are to be announced.

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