The Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd confirmed on their official Facebook page Sunday night that Gary Rossington, the band’s guitarist, and the only remaining founding member, has passed away. He was 71.

“It is with our deepest grief and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member, songwriter, and guitarist, Gary Rossington, today,” their statement added.

Gary has joined his family and fellow Skynyrd members in heaven, where he may continue to play it cool. In addition to praying for Dale, Mary, Annie, and the rest of the Rossington family, the statement asks that their privacy be respected during this time.

There was no mention of what killed her. In 2021, while on tour for their album Big, Wheels Keep on Turnin’, the guitarist had emergency heart surgery as a result of a series of heart attacks he had suffered.

Heartbreaking News: Legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Passes Away At 71!

Tragically, the guitarist passed away just five months before Lynyrd Skynyrd was slated to launch their The Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour with ZZ Top on July 21.

According to the band’s official website, Rossington was the only member of the band to escape a plane disaster in 1977 that claimed the lives of Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, their backup singer Cassie Gaines (Steve Gaines’ sister), and a tour manager.

Rossington helped write several of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s most well-known songs, including “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird,” and was honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

Rossington, Van Zant, and Bob Burns established the band as teenagers in the summer of 1964 in Jacksonville, Florida, where they met while playing on opposing baseball teams. A guitarist, Allen Collins, and a bassist, Larry Junstrom, soon joined the band, and they played under several different names until settling on Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969.


Gary Rossington, the guitarist and only remaining founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, has passed away at the age of 71. He helped write some of the band’s most iconic songs and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. His death comes just before the launch of their tour with ZZ Top.

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