Gary Rossington, the last founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, is dead

Gary Rossington, the last founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, is dead

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington on stage in Texas on May 11, 2019.  (Photo SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP)

He was the only original member still present in the group which was to begin a tour in July. Guitarist Gary Rossington, the last founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on Sunday March 5 at the age of 71, the American rock band announced.

“Gary is now with his brothers and his Skynyrd family in heaven and he is playing well, as he always does”, wrote the group on Facebook, which did not specify the cause of death. Rossington suffered from heart problems and underwent emergency heart surgery in 2021, according to a post from the band at the time.

Group of “Southern Rock”Lynyrd Skynyrd is best known for two cult songs, “Sweet Home Alabama” And “Freebird”. Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the right-wing rock groups that took to the stage on the sidelines of the 2016 Republican Convention, during which Donald Trump was nominated as a candidate for the presidency of the United States.

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Born in 1951 in Florida, Rossington founded the first iteration of Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964 with drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom. His guitar solo in “Freebird”a song nearly ten minutes long, is considered one of the greatest in rock history.

The guitarist survived several serious accidents in the 1970s, including a car crash in 1976 and the infamous 1977 air crash in which three band members died. The band had split up after vocalist Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines died in the crash. But it had reformed in 1987 with new members, including Van Zant’s younger brother, Johnny, on vocals.

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The World with AFP

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