David Crosby, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist best known for his work with The Byrds and the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, has died at the age of 81.
A statement from his wife, Jan Dance, confirmed the news.
It is with tremendous sorrow that they announce the passing of their dear David (Croz) Crosby after a lengthy illness, the statement said. He was affectionately accompanied by his wife and sweetheart Jan, as well as his son Django. Despite the fact that he is no longer with them, his humanism and loving nature will continue to lead and encourage them.
His legacy will live on via his great songs. All who knew David and those he affected wished them peace, love, and harmony. They shall all miss him terribly. They sincerely and humbly request privacy at this time while they mourn and attempt to cope with their tremendous loss. They thanked for ones support and prayers.
Crosby, who was born in Los Angeles on August 14, 1941, started his musical career with the iconic band The Byrds. With a song of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man,” incorporating unusual vocal harmonies, the band had a massive number one smash.
Crosby was a member of the band from 1964 to 1967, and he contributed vocals and guitar to other great songs such as “Turn! Turn! Turn” and “Eight Miles High.”
Despite their popularity, there remained conflict between Crosby and his bandmates over the band’s musical direction as well as Crosby’s onstage political rants. Tensions reached a peak during the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, where Crosby performed with Buffalo Springfield, and Crosby was sacked by his bandmates.
Crosby, Stills, and Nash, a collaboration with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, was a huge triumph for Crosby. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1969, was a major triumph, selling 4x platinum and gaining critical praise.
The album, which included famous songs such as “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Marrakesh Express,” launched the band to prominence.
Their performance at the Woodstock Festival that year cemented them as one of the defining artists of their generation.
Neil Young joined the band the following year, and they were renamed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY). Their following album, Déjà Vu, was another blockbuster hit, with songs like “Teach Your Children” and “Our House.”
Crosby also started recording solo albums. In 1971, his debut solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name, was critically acclaimed.
Crosby suffered with heroin addiction throughout his profession, despite his critical and economic success as a performer. He was arrested and hospitalized multiple times for drug possession.
Crosby’s drug troubles damaged both his personal and professional life, and caused friction with his bandmates. Crosby, though, underwent drug rehab in the 1980s and was able to conquer his addiction, subsequently becoming a champion for drug treatment and rehabilitation.
While creative disagreements led to breakups, Crosby, Stills, and Nash continued to perform together into the 2000s, but seldom with Young’s participation.
Crosby was a quintessential musician of the 1960s and 1970s, contributing to the era’s distinct sound. He has the uncommon distinction of having been elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, once as a member of The Byrds and once as a member of Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
David Crosby, may you rest in peace. Truly a generational talent, his music will carry on in perpetuity.