Folk-rock pioneer David Crosby dies at 81

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — David Crosby, the trailblazing singer-songwriter whose time with The Byrds and later Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young expanded rock’s range, has died, his publicist said Thursday. He was 81.

Citing a family member, his publicist confirmed the death to AFP but did not provide a cause. The singer’s wife Jan Dance had earlier told entertainment outlet Variety that Crosby passed following a long illness.

“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,” read his wife’s statement.
“Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly.”

The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer — known as much for his alternative guitar tunings, lush harmonies and abstract lyrics as for his pacifist activism, brutal honesty and living dangerously — remained a prolific artist throughout his life.

Over the course of six decades in the music industry, the vocalist, guitarist and composer at the forefront of countercultural rock penned a rich array of heartfelt ballads and knife-edged bangers.

Top hits
Crosby first found fame as a member of The Byrds, who jumped into the public consciousness with their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” before delivering classic hits including “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

But the famously blunt Crosby had a number of
run-ins with his bandmates and was fired in 1967.

He struck up jam sessions with Stills, the artist who first found success with Buffalo Springfield.

Graham Nash joined the pair to form a supergroup that quickly jumped onto the charts with hits including “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Our House,” which Nash wrote while living with Joni Mitchell in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon.

Neil Young eventually joined to form the best-known iteration of the group, producing some of the 1960s’ top hits including “Ohio.”

Crosby’s sparring with both Young and Nash was well-documented, but the latter was quick to react to news of his bandmate’s death, expressing “deep and profound sadness” while praising his “beautiful music” and “incredible legacy.”

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