The Last Surviving Member of The Original Lynyrd Skynyrd Band Has Died

James Patrick
Gary Rossington the last surviving member of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd Band has passed away at the age of 71Photo byTom Hill/Contributor/Getty Images/(Middle) Rick Diamond / Staff / Getty Images

The last surviving member of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd band is gone. The famed southern rock band announced on their Facebook page that Gary Rossington had passed away at the age of 71. The guitarist had battled heart conditions in the past, but no cause of death was given at this time.

The talented Rossington helped write a Skynyrd classic “Sweet Home Alabama” along with Ronnie Van Zant and Ed King even though none of them were from Alabama. He also played the unforgettable slide guitar in their all time anthem “Free Bird”.

Rossington had 9 lives it seemed. He survived a bad car accident in 1976 and then survived the famous plane accident a year later. In 2015 he had a heart attack and in 2021 he had major heart surgery.

Gary was one of the band members that survived the famous plane crash in 1977. The accident killed band members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, as well as backup singer Cassie Gaines, Steve Gaines’ sister. Killed on impact was assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot John Gray.

According to Wikipedia “It was Rossington's love of baseball that indirectly led to the formation of Lynyrd Skynyrd in the summer of 1964. Together with Ronnie Van Zant & Bob Burns, they became acquainted while playing on rival Jacksonville baseball teams and the trio decided to jam together one afternoon. They set up their equipment in the carport of Burns' parents' house and played The Rolling Stones' then-current hit “Time is on My Side”. Liking what they heard, they immediately decided to form a band. Naming themselves The Noble Five, with the additions of guitarist Allen Collins and bassis Larry Junstrom. They later changed the name of the band to The One Percent before eventually settling on the name Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969”.

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Writer & Host of The Forum Celebrity Podcast. I conduct Celebrity Interviews and cover Pop Culture & Trending News Stories! I've been a featured guest on several radio shows & podcasts. Twitter: @realjamespat

Fairfield, CA

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