Iconic musician David Crosby, a member of the bands Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, died on Thursday aged 81. His wife Jan Dance broke the news of his death by noting that the renowned musician had been ailing for a "long" time, according to Variety. Crosby was renowned for his guitar skills and vocal harmonies.
"It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away," His wife said in the statement. "He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django." He achieved the rare feat of being twice inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
End of an Era
Those who followed his extremely active Twitter account, where he had continued to tweet as recently as Wednesday, were shocked to learn about his death. The day before he passed away, Crosby sent out one of his final tweets, which included the amusing line, "I heard the place is overrated... cloudy."
A day later Crosby's wife shared the tragic news of his death. "Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us," she added, reflecting on her husband of 36 years.
"His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music. Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly."
She asked for privacy for herself and Crosby's family as they "grieve" their "profound loss."
Graham Nash, a former bandmate, expressed his "profound sadness," despite their often "volatile" relationship.
Crosby was the guitarist and singer for The Byrds along with Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke from 1964 through 1967. "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" were noteworthy singles for the Los Angeles-based folk rock band.
He later founded the musical trio Crosby, Stills & Nash with Buffalo Springfield's Stephen Stills and Graham Nash of the Hollies, whose debut album from 1969 achieved multi-platinum status. The album had notable hits like Marrakesh Express and Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.
The band soon added famed musician Neil Young and changed its name to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young before splitting up and reuniting several times in the 1970s.
The group's three number-one albums are Déjà Vu from 1970, 4-Way Street from 1971, and So Far from 1974. Déjà Vu has the singles "Teach Your Children", "Ohio", and "Woodstock".
Music Fraternity Mourns Death
In addition to releasing a series of albums with Nash in 1972, 1975, and 1976, Crosby also released a solo album in 1971 titled If Only I Could Remember My Name. Crosby, Stills, and Nash reunited for the 1977 album CSN, which contained the song "Just a Song Before I Go".
The trio also released two albums, Replay in 1981 and Daylight Again in 1982, the latter of which featured the hits "Wasted on the Way" and "Southern Cross". The trio also came up with an album Allies in 1983.
Unfortunately, a protracted addiction battle and struggles with cocaine and alcohol misuse followed along with the height of rock and roll popularity, leading to a liver transplant in the 1990s.
In addition, Crosby was detained in Texas in 1982 on charges related to drugs and guns, which led to a brief incarceration in 1986.
At the time Crosby got sick or after his liver transplant, the illness was incurable. "I have seven extra years on my life after I was supposed to be dead," the thankful musician said. "It's a slow-moving disease, and it'll take another 20 years for it to kill this liver. I'll take the 20 years. Hep C is one of the worst problems the world has to face," Crosby told the New York Post in a 2002 interview.
Additionally, Crosby is well-known for providing sperm to Melissa Etheridge, a musician, and her late ex-partner Julie Cypher. With their help, they were able to have two children, Bailey and Beckett. Later, his son Beckett, who was 21 at the time, died from a heroin overdose.
On Thursday, Etheridge posted a heartfelt remembrance of her longtime frined on social media.
"I am grieving the loss of my friend and Bailey's biological father, David. He gave me the gift of family. I will forever be grateful to him, Django, and Jan," she wrote. "His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A true treasure."
Brian Wilson, one of the founder members of the Beach Boys, tweeted that he was "heartbroken" and praised his music world colleague.
"I don't know what to say other than I'm heartbroken to hear about David Crosby," wrote Wilson, 80. "David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David's family and friends. Love, Brian"
Iconic rockers The Doors also posted a remembrance of Crosby.
"The world has lost yet another ethereal fixture of the '60s peace and love movement; a legend within his own right, and every group he was a part of," the band wrote. "Coming up in the same era as The Doors, David Crosby had the voice and song writing abilities that made him completely unique..."
In addition to the trio's 1969 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, Crosby's accomplishments led to his entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice—in 1991 as a member of the Byrds and in 1997 with Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Crosby continued to perform and release songs as a solo artist after the band split up and he gained the prominence he had in the 1990s.
His most recent joint CD, "Live at the Capitol Theatre," included the song "1974," a "long-lost demo tune" that had recently turned up.