The Byrds and Crosby Stills & Nash singer-songwriter David Crosby passed away at 81

David Crosby, a singer, songwriter, and guitarist best known for his work with The Byrds and the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, has passed away at the age of 81. He was one of the most influential musicians of the 1960s.

His wife, Jan Dance, issued a statement to Variety confirming the news.

After a protracted illness, our beloved David (Croz) Crosby passed away, according to the statement. He was devotedly surrounded by his soulmate Jan, his wife, and their son Django. His humanism and loving soul will continue to lead and inspire us even if he is no longer among us.

“His great music will keep carrying on his legacy. To everyone who knew David and the people he impacted, peace, love, and harmony. He will be sorely missed. We respectfully and humbly request privacy at this time while we grieve and work to come to terms with our great loss. I appreciate the prayers and love.

CAMBRIDGE, MA – SEPTEMBER 25: David Crosby speaks at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre in a conversation with Harvard students titled ‘Gotta Get Down To It: Conversations With Musician David Crosby’ on September 25, 2018 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images)

Crosby, who was born in Los Angeles on August 14, 1941, started his musical career with the well-known group The Byrds. With a song of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” that featured distinctive vocal harmonies, the band had a massive number one smash.

From 1964 through 1967, Crosby was a band member, lending his vocals and guitar to other timeless songs like “Turn! Turn! Turn” and “Eight Miles High.”

Despite their success, there was conflict inside the band over Crosby’s political rants onstage and the band’s musical direction. When Crosby performed with Buffalo Springfield at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, tensions reached a breaking point, and Crosby was sacked by his bandmates.

However, Crosby quickly achieved success with another incredibly influential band, Crosby, Stills and Nash, a partnership with Graham Nash and Stephen Stills. Their self-titled debut album from 1969 was a tremendous hit, going 4x platinum and winning praise from critics.

Hit songs from the album, including “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Marrakesh Express,” propelled the band to popularity.

UNSPECIFIED – JANUARY 01: Photo of Crosby Stills & Nash (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

They became one of the defining acts of their generation as a result of their appearance at the Woodstock Festival that year.

When Neil Young joined the group in the same year, their name was changed to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). Déjà Vu, their subsequent album from 1970, which included songs like “Teach Your Children” and “Our House,” was yet another blockbuster hit.

Crosby also started putting out CDs on his own. If I Could Only Remember My Name, his debut solo album, was well-received by critics in 1971.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 06: (L-R) Musicians Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash perform onstage at the 25th anniversary MusiCares 2015 Person Of The Year Gala honoring Bob Dylan at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 6, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The annual benefit raises critical funds for MusiCares’ Emergency Financial Assistance and Addiction Recovery programs. For more information visit musicares.org. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)

Despite being a critically and commercially successful singer, Crosby battled a well publicised drug addiction the whole time he was in the music business. He was hospitalised and arrested numerous times for drug possession.

The animosity between Crosby and his bandmates was a result of his drug problems, which also had an impact on his personal and professional lives.
However, Crosby joined a drug rehab programme in the 1980s and was able to recover from his addiction; he eventually became a supporter of drug treatment and recovery.

David Crosby, founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash was arrested by Dallas police in April 1982 and charged with drug and gun possession. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images)

Despite splits due to artistic disagreements, Crosby, Stills, and Nash continued to perform together through the 2000s, but infrequently with Young present.

Crosby was a key figure in the development of the distinctive musical style of the 1960s and 1970s. He has the unique distinction of having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once as a member of Crosby, Stills, and Nash and once as a member of The Byrds.

Godspeed, David Crosby. Truly a talent that defined a generation,

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