David Crosby, the legendary singer-songwriter who founded some of the defining rock groups of the 1960s, has died at the age of 81, according to media reports on Thursday.
Variety shared a statement from Crosby’s wife saying the musician died after “a long illness” and was surrounded by his family when he passed.
“Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us,” the statement reads. “His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music.”
Sources close to the musician also confirmed Crosby’s death to Rolling Stone and NBC News.
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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Crosby was a founding member of The Byrds, a pivotal band of the 1960s that combined rock and folk music. He co-wrote some of their most notable songs including “Eight Miles High” and sang on their immensely popular covers of “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!”
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After leaving the group, he formed Crosby Stills & Nash with fellow superstars Graham Nash and Stephen Stills. The band further exploded in popularity after bringing Neil Young into the fold to become Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Both iterations were known for their delicate harmonies, songs like “Woodstock” and “Teach Your Children,” and inter-member clashes that led to multiple breakups and reunions over the ensuing decades.
“It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed,” Nash wrote in a tribute on Instagram.
“I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years.”
Crosby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice for his work with The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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