David Crosby, Legendary Rock Musician and Songwriter, Dies at 81 - National |  Globalnews.ca

David Crosby, Legendary Rock Musician and Songwriter, Dies at 81 – National | Globalnews.ca

David Crosby, the legendary singer-songwriter who founded some of the defining rock groups of the 1960s, has died at the age of 81, according to media reports Thursday.

Variety shared a statement from Crosby’s wife that the musician died after a “long illness” and was surrounded by his family when he died.

“Although he is no longer with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us,” the statement read. “His legacy will live on through his legendary music.”

Crosby’s death was also confirmed by sources close to the musician, Rolling Stone and NBC News.

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Crosby was a founding member of The Byrds, a seminal 1960s rock and folk band. He co-wrote some of their most notable songs including ‘Eight Miles High’ and sang on their hugely popular covers of ‘Mr. Tambourine” and “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

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After leaving the group, he formed Crosby, Stills & Nash with fellow superstars Graham Nash and Stephen Stills. The group further exploded in popularity after bringing Neil Young into the group to become Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Both iterations were known for their delicate harmonies, songs like “Woodstock” and “Teach Your Children”, and clashes between members that led to many breakups and reunions in the following decades.

“It is with deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed away,” Nash wrote on Instagram.

“I know people sometimes focus on how unstable our relationship was, but what always mattered more to me and David than anything else was the pure joy of the music we made together, the sound that we’ve discovered together, and the deep friendship we’ve shared over all these long years.”

Crosby has been inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME, from left: David Crosby, Neil Young, late 1960s-early 1970s, 2019. © Sony Pictures Classics / Courtesy Everett Collection.

In later years, however, he often admitted that he squandered this recognition and goodwill as he fell into drug addiction and alienated associates and supporters with a harsh personality.

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He said this in a 2019 documentary David Crosby: Remember my name that Nash, Stills, and Young “really, really dislike me”, which stood in the way of any hopes of further collaboration.

Rolling Stone called Crosby “rock’s most unlikely survivor”. His addictions, which led to arrests and prison terms for drug possession in the 1980s, culminated in a liver transplant in 1994. He also suffered from hepatitis C and diabetes.

In 2004, he was arrested on gun and marijuana charges in New York.

“I’m afraid that the time I have here is so short, and I’m deeply angry with myself, at least the 10 years that I wasted by breaking down,” Crosby told the Los Angeles newspaper. The Times in July 2019. “I’m ashamed of it.”

He fell “as low as a human being can go,” Crosby told the Times.

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Through it all, Crosby continued to make music. He released a number of solo albums and collaborations with Nash, while also working with Phil Collins – who paid for his liver transplant – and his own son James Richmond, who was a long-time band member and writing partner.

Crosby fathered five more children, including two as a sperm donor to rocker partner Melissa Etheridge.

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“He gave me the gift of family,” Ethridge said on Instagram. “His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A real treasure.”

He was also prolific on social media, where he continued his outspoken support for environmental causes and disdain for politics.

His latest tweets were dispatched on Wednesday to pay their respects to climate activist Greta Thunberg after she was arrested at a protest in Germany.

—With files from Reuters

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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