Ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Ed King Dead at 68

By Andrew Magnotta

August 23, 2018

Ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Ed Kind Dead at 68

Former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Ed King has passed away at age 68.

King, who joined the iconic Southern rock band in 1972, reportedly died Wednesday at his home in Nashville.

A cause of death was not specified in a statement from King's family, however, earlier reports noted that King had been fighting lung cancer. He was recently hospitalized due to the disease.

King's family announced the news Thursday morning in a statement that concluded by saying, "We thank his many friends and fans for their love and support of Ed during his life and career."

The guitarist played an important role in crafting highlights of Skynyrd's beloved catalog, having co-written hits like "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird."

Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington, who is the only original member still in the band, said he was "shocked and saddened" by news of King's passing.

"Ed was our brother, and a great songwriter and guitar player," Rossington said. "I know he will be reunited with the rest of the boys in rock and roll heaven. Our thoughts and prayers are with [his wife] Sharon and his family." 

After co-founding the cult-psychedelic rock pioneers Strawberry Alarm Clock in the late-'60s, King offered to join Skynyrd after hearing the band rehearsing before a gig at a Florida bar.

King first performed with Skynyrd when the band needed someone to fill-in for bassist Leon Wilkeson. He became a full-fledged member after being added as the band's third guitarist, thus giving the Skynyrd its trademark three-guitar sound.

King left Skynyrd in 1975 amid growing friction between himself and especially singer Ronnie Van Zant

Lynyrd Skynyrd has openly considered retirement after this year. The band has toured all summer and will perform at our 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, September 22. 

Photo: Getty Images

Lynyrd SkynyrdEd King
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