Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington Dead at 71, Last Living Founding Member
Lynyrd Skynyrd's Gary Rossington Dead at 71 ... Survived Famous Plane Crash Decades Ago
3/6/2023 6:15 AM PT
Gary Rossington, the last original member of legendary rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died.
The guitarist, behind such memorable songs as "Freebird" and "Sweet Home Alabama," passed away Sunday, according to a statement released by the band.
Although his cause of death was not disclosed, Rossington suffered from a series of heart-related issues over the years, including a heart attack in 2015. He also received an emergency heart procedure in 2019.
Members of Skynyrd paid homage to Rossington in their statement, "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."
They continued, "Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does."
As you may recall, Rossington was aboard a plane that crashed after it ran out of fuel over Mississippi in October 1977, killing three of his bandmates: lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines.
Three other passengers also died, including the group's assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick.
Rossington miraculously survived, but his arms, legs, ankles, and pelvis were shattered.
It took 10 years ... but the band got back together in 1987 and Rossington rejoined it with a new line-up. Skynyrd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
Rossington was 71.