The band announced that Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s guitarist and songwriter, has passed away at the age of 71 in a Facebook post.
The group stated, “It is with deepest sympathy, sadness that we must advise, that we lost today our brother, friend and guitarist, Gary Rossington.”
“Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers, family and friends in heaven and is playing it pretty, just like he always does.” The statement continued: Please remember Dale, Mary and Annie Rossington and their entire family in your prayers. Also, please respect the privacy of the Rossington family during this difficult time.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the death of the musician. ( In July 2021, he had received emergency surgery to his heart.
According to the biography of the band, Rossington first met Ronnie Van Zant, and Bob Burns in 1964 when they were all playing baseball in Jacksonville.
RIP: Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington has passed away at the age 71, the band announced in a Facebook post. Picture taken in Indio, California in April 2019.
Pictured 1976, the original Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup: (L-R), Artimus Pyle and Leon Wilkeson; Ronnie Van Zant, Ronnie Van Zant; Steve Gaines, Gary Rossington
“An impromptu afternoon session in the carport at Burns’ parents’ house inspired them to form a band,” the bio continued. The band started entertaining Jacksonville audiences as My Backyard, The Noble Five, The One Percent and then finally as Lynyrd Skynyrd.
In 2019, Rossington became the last original member of the group after Junstrom, at 70 years old, died in October 2019.
Rossington was involved in a car accident in 1976 in which his Ford Torino crashed into a tree. This provided inspiration for the song That Smell.
The tragic plane crash that killed Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Gaines’ bandmate, Cassie Gaines and both pilots in 1977 is closely linked to the iconic rock band.
Both Rossington’s arms and leg were fractured in the plane crash of 1977. His stomach and liver were also punctured.
In a 2006 interview with Rolling Stone Rossington described the plane crash as a “devastating thing” and said, “You can’t talk about it casually and not feel something about it.”
In 2006 interview, he said that he doesn’t view the band’s past as a tragedy. He views it as a way of life. The good is more important than the bad.
In the aftermath of the October 20, 1977 tragedy, the band didn’t play together for over ten years. In 2006, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Country-Rock legend.
The sad news was announced by the band via a Facebook post Sunday evening
Lynyrd skynyrd’s new documentary, “If I Leave Here Tomorrow”
Rossington was seen performing in the Classic Rock Roll of Honour at London’s Roundhouse in November 2012.
Rossington was photographed at the UIC Pavilion, Chicago, October 2, 1987
Six months prior to his death in a plane crash that left six people dead and left him with many injuries, the musician was captured in April 1977.
Rossington was seen in New York City on April 11, 1976, at The Bottom Line
Rossington, Johnny Van Zant, and Rickey Melocke were pictured at T-Mobile Arena’s 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 22, 2018, in Las Vegas.
He dealt with health problems, including a 2003 quintuple bypass operation; a 2015 heart attack; multiple heart surgeries, the latest in July 2021. Rossington used to play a part in some of the band’s concerts over the years.
In the wake of his death, the veteran musician was fondly remembered on social media.
Travis Tritt, 60 years old, tweeted that he had just learned of Gary Rossington’s passing. ‘I’m heartbroken! Gary was not only a good friend but also a collaborator. He wrote songs with me, and he played the guitar on stage so many times. Dale and his girls are in my thoughts. RIP.’
The estate of Charlie Daniels, the late musician, tweeted: “It’s all okay now, keep singing loud. It’s all right now. Heaven should be proud.” – Charlie Daniels 1979.
“The last of the Free Birds is home. Gary Rossington, God Bless The Lynyrd @Skynyrd Band. Prayers for Dale and his family. – CD, Jr. & Hazel Daniels.’
Mark Madden, radio personality, said that @Skynyrd is one of America’s greatest rock bands and a Southern-style Led Zeppelin. Gary Rossington’s talent and influence was huge. His importance in music history cannot be underrated. Gary Rossington, RIP.
One user said: “Gary Rossington.” They called him Prince Charming. This is the purest tone. RIP. His guitar “that smell” sounded almost like it was dying or crying. It sounded rough and calloused. He never missed. The last piece of the greatest rock and roll band ever is gone. Fly on.
There are a few tour dates planned for the band in the coming months. It was not immediately known how Rossington’s passing would affect their future plans. They are scheduled to perform in Plant City, Florida on March 12, and will also be joining ZZ Top for their The Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour in July.
Dale Krantz Rollington, his two children and grandchildren, are still with him.
In the wake of his death, social media was filled with fond memories of the veteran musician.