Lynyrd Skynyrd's, Gary Rossington has died aged 71

Monday 06 March 2023

Gary Rossington, a founding and last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd whose slide guitar helped make the Southern rock band’s song “Free Bird” an indelible anthem, has died at the age of 71. The band broke the news via social media: “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 Dale, Mary, Annie and the entire Rossington family in your prayers and respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time.”

Rossington was a staunch figure who preferred to let his guitar do the talking and who cheated death more than once. He survived a brutal car accident in 1976 in which he drove his Ford Torino into a tree, inspiring “That Smell.” A year later, he emerged from a plane crash that killed singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines with two broken arms, a broken leg, and a punctured stomach and liver.