David Crosby, Founder of Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, Dead at 81 After 'Long Illness'

Veteran folk-rock star David Crosby has died at 81, his representative has confirmed.

via: People

“It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away,” his wife said in a statement to Variety on Thursday.

“He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. 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.”

She concluded, “Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.”

Crosby founded Byrds with members Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke and set the tone for ’60s folk-rock music from 1964-1967.

Then, in 1968, Crosby got together with Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of the Hollies to create Crosby, Stills & Nash. In 1997, the band was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

In his personal life, Crosby grappled with addiction for several years. In 1994, he underwent liver transplant surgery. In 1982, he was arrested in Texas on drug and weapons charges — which led to five months in prison.

In 2019, the rocker spoke to PEOPLE about his ups and downs, sharing that through everything, it was music that kept him going.

“It’s the one contribution I can make,” he said at the time. “See, it’s dark out here now. The world is not a happy place. Music’s a lifting force. Music makes things better.”

That same year he released a documentary about his life, titled David Crosby: Remember My Name, which details his journey to stardom.

“The catharsis thing works. They taught me that in AA. You have to honestly look at your mistakes and then you can learn from it, which is the only good thing that’s going to come from any mistake. Then you can set that puppy down and walk on, because that’s what you need to do. You need to walk on. And you need to be looking forward when you walk on, not backwards. Otherwise you’ll run into a phone pole. So I think it’s had a great effect on me. It’s lightening my load.”

Crosby was raised in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara and was the son of an Oscar-winning cinematographer, Floyd Crosby.

He is survived by wife Jan Dance and his children, sons Django and James and daughters Erika and Donovan. Singer Melissa Etheridge previously confirmed Crosby was the biological father of her two children — Bailey and Beckett (who died in 2020) with former partner Julie Cypher via artificial insemination.

RIP.

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