Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist, Dead At 71
By Sarah Tate
March 6, 2023
Gary Rossington, Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and the last remaining original member of the band, has died. He was 71.
The band announced Rossington's death in a post on social media on Sunday (March 5), revealing that the legendary musician passed away earlier in the day. He is survived by his wife, Dale, and their daughters Mary and Annie.
"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," the post states. "Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does."
The band also wished for privacy for Rossington's family as they grieve, writing, "Please keep Dale, Mary, Annie and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family's privacy at this difficult time."
A cause of death was not immediately known, but Rossington has experienced health issues over the past few years. In 2019, he underwent a heart procedure to address what was described at the time as a leaky heart valve. After a quick recovery, he returned to the stage just three weeks later, but he had another setback in 2021that required another emergency procedure on his heart.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's lead and rhythm guitarist, Rossington co-founded the legendary Southern rock band in the 1960s with Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins, Larry Junstrom and Bob Burns. He was one of 20 survivors in the 1977 plane crash that killed Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines and three others, per Spin. Following Junstrom's death in 2019, he was the last member of the original lineup.