Arthur Russell (born Charles Arthur Russell, Jr.; May 21, 1951 – April 4, 1992) was an American cellist, composer, singer and musician whose work spanned the genres of classical, disco, experimental, folk and rock. Notable artists who collaborated with Russell include Steve Reich, Allen Ginsberg, Philip Glass, Talking Heads, Jennifer Warnes, Bootsy Collins, and Nicky Siano.
During his lifetime, Russell found the most commercial success in New York's underground dance and disco scene throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although he recorded a considerable number of songs, the musician's near-chronic inability to finish projects resulted in an extremely limited amount of released output during his life. The only full length record of Russell's to be released while the musician was still alive was World of Echo on Rough Trade Records in 1986. The highly experimental album was a stark contrast to the typical collaboration he had participated in up until that point, and exclusively featured Russell solo performing cello, singing, and on hand percussion, often awash in echo and other effects.
Russell died from AIDS in 1992, still in relative obscurity and nearly broke. Throughout the 2000s, a series of reissues, compilations, books and a biographical documentary significantly raised his profile. Following his death, several albums of his various unheard recordings were compiled and released, including Another Thought (1994), Calling Out of Context (2004), Love is Overtaking Me (2008), and Corn (2015).