A ’60s folk-rock pioneer, he was a founding member of Byrds & Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Legendary singer-songwriter and founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, David Crosby, has died, a source close to the musician confirmed Thursday. He was 81.
Crosby, a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, died after a long illness, his wife told Variety.
“He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jean and his son Django,” she told the outlet. “Although he is no longer with us, his humanity and kind soul continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy lives on through his legendary music.”
In a Facebook post, former bandmate Graham Nash recalled his focus on the sometimes volatile relationship – Crosby publicly attacked him in an interview with The Guardian just two years ago -. He said the “pure joy” of making music with Crosby was the most important thing.
“David was fearless in his life and in his music,” said Nash. “He leaves a tremendous void of character and talent in this world. He has expressed his thoughts, heart and passion in beautiful music and left an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most.”
Another former band member, Stephen Stills, also recalled the times he and Crosby butted heads, saying in a statement from his manager that such conflict left them “numb skulls.”
“I was happy to be at peace with him,” he said. “He was without question a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius.”
Crosby’s final release, “Live at the Capitol Theater,” came out last month. In an interview with the site ultimateclassicrock.com, he described the performance captured in the recording as “magical.”
Crosby, who was born in Los Angeles, joined the Byrds in 1964. They scored their first hit with Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.”
Crosby, Stills & Nash — later known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young when Neil Young joined — was founded in 1968, the year after Crosby left the Byrds. The band went on to release a series of hits with “Marrakesh Express,” “Just a Song Before I Go,” “Woodstock” and others. The band’s album Looking Forward was released in 1999.
Crosby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame once with The Byrds in 1991 and twice with Crosby, Stills & Nash six years later.