The guitarist and founder of the American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd died at the age of 71
Sylvie Claire / March 6, 2023
Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing well, as he always does," the band wrote on Facebook. Lynyrd Skynyrd did not specify the cause of death. Rossington had been suffering from heart problems and underwent emergency heart surgery in 2021, according to a post by the band at the time.
Born in 1951 in Florida, he founded the first iteration of Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1964 with drummer Bob Burns and bassist Larry Junstrom. His guitar solo in "Free Bird," a song nearly ten minutes long, is considered one of the greatest in rock history.
The guitarist survived several serious accidents in the 1970s, including a car accident in 1976 and the infamous 1977 plane crash in which three band members died.
The band broke up after the death of singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines and backup singer Cassie Gaines in the crash. But it reformed in 1987 with new members, including Van Zant's younger brother Johnny on vocals.
Rossington was the only original member left in the group, which has continued to perform since and is scheduled to begin a tour in July.
Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of the right-wing rock bands that had taken the stage on the sidelines of the 2016 Republican convention, where Donald Trump had been nominated as a candidate for president of the United States. It was best known for two cult songs, "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird ».