Arts & Entertainment

US folk-rock legend David Crosby dies at 81

Los Angeles, USA, Jan 19 (EFE).- American folk-rock legend David Crosby died on Thursday at the age of 81.

Crosby founded iconic 1960s bands such as The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

“It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django,” the Crosby family said in a statement published by United States media.

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

The singer-songwriter and guitarist was born in Los Angeles in 1941, the son of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Floyd Crosby and salesperson Aliph Van Cortland Whitehead.

He began his musical career in childhood with his brother Ethan, and later started his professional career with Roger McGuinn and Gene Clark, forming the Byrds in 1964.

The group achieved great recognition a year later when they released their version of Bob Dylan’s classic “Mr. Tambourine Man,” which gave their debut album its name, and included hit songs such as “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

His adventures with The Byrds culminated in his expulsion from the group in October 1967.

Soon after, with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, Crosby founded folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash, with the group’s first performance as a trio at Woodstock festival in 1969. The band won Best New Artist Of The Year at the Grammy Awards in 1970.

They were later joined by Canadian Neil Young and although Young’s joining secured the commercial success of the band, with albums including 1970’s “Deja Vu” and hits such as “Woodstock” and “Teach Your Children,” the tumultuous group last toured in 2014 and disbanded in 2016 after many years of tension.

Both bands were key to the development of folk-rock and country-rock that originated in California and became popular in the 1970s.

He has also been credited with discovering Joni Mitchell, with whom he was romantically involved, in 1967.

Crosby continued as a soloist and in 2021 released his last album “For Free” with James Raymond, a musician in his own right and a son Crosby didn’t know he had until Raymond was 30.

He also collaborated with musical greats including Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann and Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, Carole King and Mitchell and twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

On a personal level, the musician battled alcohol and drug addiction issues and in 1982 he was arrested in Dallas, Texas, for possession of drugs and weapons, serving several months behind bars, which prompted him to get clean.

In 1994 he had a liver transplant, paid for by musician Phil Collins, stemming from hepatitis C. He also had Type 2 diabetes and multiple heart procedures.

In 1987 he married Jan Dance and they had a son, Django, in 1995. Crosby also has two daughters, Erika with Jackie Guthrie, and Donovan with Debbie Donovan.

in the 1990s, Crosby was also the sperm donor for singer Melissa Ethridge’s two children with partner Julie Cypher.

Etheridge said on Instagram she was “grieving the loss of my friend, and Bailey’s and Beckett’s biological father, David. He gave me the gift of family.”

“I will forever be grateful to him, Django, and Jan. His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A true treasure.”

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