Gary Rossington

LYNYRD SKYNYRD guitarist Gary Rossington has died. He was 71.

The musician’s passing was announced by his surviving bandmates on social media, writing: “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.

Gary is now with his SKYNYRD brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does.

“Please keep DaleMaryAnnie and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time.”

Despite the tragic plane crash which claimed the lives of the lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines in 1977, Rossington managed to survive. The band reformed with Ronnie‘s brother Johnny Van Zant as the new frontman in 1987, and has been touring continuously since then.

In 2006, Rossington was one of the LYNYRD SKYNYRD band members who were honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He played a significant role in creating some of the band’s most well-known tracks, such as “Free Bird” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”