“Legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington Passes Away at 71, Leaving Fans Heartbroken”

Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington Passes Away at 71
Survived Famous Plane Crash Decades Ago

3/6/2023 6:15 AM PT
Gary Rossington, the last original member of the legendary rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, has passed away.
The guitarist, known for his work on iconic songs such as “Freebird” and “Sweet Home Alabama,” died on Sunday, according to a statement released by the band.
Although the cause of his death was not disclosed, Rossington had been dealing with heart-related issues for several years, including a heart attack in 2015 and an emergency heart procedure in 2019.
The band paid tribute to Rossington in their 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.”
They continued, “Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does.”
Rossington was one of the survivors of the infamous plane crash that occurred in Mississippi in October 1977, which claimed the lives of three of his bandmates: lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines. Three other passengers also lost their lives, including the group’s assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick.
Rossington miraculously survived the crash, but suffered severe injuries to his arms, legs, ankles, and pelvis.
It took 10 years, but the band eventually reunited in 1987 with a new lineup, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Born in 1951 in Jacksonville, Florida, Rossington formed Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964 with his high school friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, and Gary’s younger brother, Dale. The band’s name came from their gym teacher, Leonard Skinner, who punished them for having long hair.

Despite numerous lineup changes and tragedies, Lynyrd Skynyrd went on to achieve global success. Their mix of Southern rock, blues, and country influences captured the hearts of millions of fans, and their songs remain classics to this day.

Rossington played with Lynyrd Skynyrd for over five decades, enduring numerous hardships along the way. His career was marked by the tragic 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and several other band members, as well as battles with addiction and health issues.

Despite these challenges, Rossington remained committed to his music, and Lynyrd Skynyrd continued to tour and record new material. Their final tour, called “Last of the Street Survivors,” was scheduled to run through 2022.

Fans of the band are heartbroken by Rossington’s passing. Many have taken to social media to express their grief and share memories of his performances. They will remember him as a true rock and roll icon, whose guitar playing helped define an entire genre of music.

In a statement, Lynyrd Skynyrd paid tribute to Rossington’s legacy, saying, “Gary was a kind and gentle soul with the warmest heart. His contributions to Lynyrd Skynyrd were immeasurable. We will miss him dearly.”

Rossington’s passing marks the end of an era for Lynyrd Skynyrd and the wider music community. He will be remembered as one of the greatest guitarists of all time and a true legend of rock and roll.

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