Greg Phillinganes was born in Detroit, Michigan. Relocating to Los Angeles, he has been among the city’s most prolific session musicians for more than 20 years.
Stevie Wonder gave Greg his first break in 1975. Ricky Lawson (who would in later years join Clapton’s touring band) gave him a tape of Greg playing instrumental versions of his songs. Greg was part of Stevie’s Wonderlove band from 1976 to 1981. He also worked with Quincy Jones from 1976.
Greg can be heard on every Michael Jackson recording on the Epic label. He has toured and recorded with a variety of musicians including George Benson, Babyface, Toni Braxton, Expose, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, Patti LaBelle, and Patti Austin.
Greg has recorded several solo albums and has written songs for Paulinho Da Costa (who would also join Clapton’s band), the Brothers Johnson and Lionel Ritchie.
In 1985, Greg, along with Nathan East, was one of the studio musicians brought in by Eric’s record label to work on Behind The Sun. Over the years, Greg has co-written some songs with Eric. He toured with Eric between 1986 and 1990and re-joined the touring band for the 2001 Reptile Tour of South America and Japan.
Greg can be heard on Eric’s CDs, Behind The Sun, August, Journeyman, 24 Nights, Pilgrim and selected tracks on One More Car, One More Rider.