Lynyrd Skynyrd Founding Guitarist Gary Rossington Dead At 71

Gary Rossington, guitarist and founding member of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died at the age of 71.

“It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member, songwriter and guitarist, Gary Rossington, today,” Lynyrd Skynyrd announced in a statement posted on the band’s official Facebook page on Sunday.

“Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does,” the statement added. “Please keep Dale, Mary, Annie and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time.”

Rossington was one of the passengers who survived a 1977 plane crash in which Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, his sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines, road manager Dean Kilpatrick and both pilots died.

Rossington suffered a heart attack in 2015 and had undergone emergency heart surgery in 2021.

Rossington was the last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, in which he played lead and rhythm guitar.

He was also a founding member of the Rossington Collins Band.

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