Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd dies
Gary Rossington, a co-founder and last surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd who helped write the classic answer song “Sweet Home Alabama” and played unforgettable slide guitar on the rock anthem “Free Bird,” died Sunday at age 71. No cause of death was given.
Rossington cheated death more than once. He survived a car accident in 1976. A year later, he survived the plane crash that killed singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, with multiple broken bones and internal injuries.
In later years, Rossington underwent quintuple bypass surgery in 2003, suffered a heart attack in 2015, and had numerous subsequent heart surgeries, most recently leaving Lynyrd Skynyrd in July 2021 to recover from another procedure.