Gary Rossington, Last Founding Member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dead at 71

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington died Sunday at 71, the legendary rock band has revealed.

He was the last remaining original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The band said on social media:

“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.

“Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty like he always does.

“Please keep Dale, Mary, Annie, and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time,” the post said.

Charlie Daniels’ estate said:

“‘It’s all right now, keep on singin’ loud. It’s all right now, heaven should be proud’ – Charlie Daniels 1979

“The last of the Free Birds has flown home.

“RIP Gary Rossington, God Bless the Lynyrd @Skynyrd band.

“Prayers to Dale and the rest of his family.”

Travis Tritt wrote:

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“I just learned that my dear friend, Gary Rossington passed away today. I’m heartbroken!

“Gary was not only a friend but a collaborator that wrote songs with me and played guitar with me in studio recordings and onstage so many times.

“My heart goes out to Dale and the girls. RIP.”

According to The New York Post:

In 1976, Rossington survived a devastating car wreck in which he drove his Ford Torino into a tree.

The crash inspired Lynyrd Skynyrd’s song “That Smell.”

Only a year later, in 1977, he survived the tragic plane crash in Mississippi that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines.

Rossington broke both arms and a leg and punctured his stomach and liver in the infamous plane crash.

“It was a devastating thing,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2006.

“You can’t just talk about it real casual and not have feelings about it.”

A decade after the crash, Rossington would rejoin the band after Van Zant’s brother, Johnny Van Zant, had reformed the group.

READ MORE: Actor Tom Sizemore Dead at 61 after Suffering Stroke

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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