Gary Rossington served as the Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and last surviving original member of the band. He has passed away at the age of 71, as reported by The Guardian.
Rossington is survived by his wife, Dale Krantz-Rossington, their two daughters and several grandchildren. The musician passed away yesterday, March 5, with no cause of death being revealed, although Rossington was suffering from heart issues in the last few years, culminating in emergency surgery in 2021.
The band shared a statement, saying:
“It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, today. Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does.”
Rossington was a part of Lynyrd Skynyrd since 1964, and he was the only member of the group to appear in all of the band’s releases, both with the classic line-up as well as after their reunion in 1987. Lynyrd Skynyrd are scheduled to hit the road on a US tour with ZZ Top in Summer, which is expected to go on despite Rossington’s death.
Rossington outlived several of his fellow Skynyrd guitarists, including Allen Collins, Ed King and Hughie Thomasson. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Lynyrd Skynyrd at No 95 on its 100 greatest artists of all time list and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.