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Gary Rossington, a founding member and guitarist of the Southern band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died on March 5, 2023, at 71. Rossington had a net worth of $12 million at his death, as per celebritynetworth.
Lynyrd Skynyrd was known for his chart-topping singles, with hits like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird” becoming classics in rock music history.
Despite surviving a devastating airplane crash in 1977 that killed three band members and left Rossington with severe injuries and drug addiction, he continued to perform with Lynyrd Skynyrd and had a successful solo career.
Rossington co-founded the Rossington-Collins Band in 1980 and eventually became the only surviving original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd following the death of guitarist Edward King in 2018.
In 2006, Rossington was established in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
In the early 1970s, Gary Rossington joined forces with fellow musicians Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins to form Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The band was inspired by their former high school teacher, Leonard Skinner, who had a strict dress code policy that banned boys from having long hair, a problem for some band members following the trend of many rock musicians at the time.
As a tongue-in-cheek tribute to their former teacher, they named their band Lynyrd Skynyrd, purposely misspelling Skinner’s name.
The band quickly gained a devoted following in their hometown of Jacksonville and caught the attention of MCA Records, who offered them a record deal.
In 1973, Lynyrd Skynyrd released their debut album, which featured the hits “Free Bird” and “Simple Man.”
The album received acclaim and commercial success, quickly establishing Lynyrd Skynyrd as one of the most exciting new bands in rock music.
During the following years, Lynyrd Skynyrd continued to produce numerous successful albums, including “Second Helping” (1974) that showcased chart-topping hits like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Don’t Ask Me No Questions,” and “Nuthin’ Fancy” (1975) which featured the popular single “Saturday Night Special.”
With their distinctive mix of Southern rock, blues, and country music, the band quickly became a favorite among fans and critics alike, and they maintained their momentum with live performances and recordings throughout the 1970s.
1977 Plane Crash
Sadly, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s rise to fame abruptly stopped in 1977 when their plane crashed in Mississippi, claiming the lives of multiple band members, including their frontman, Ronnie Van Zant.
While Rossington survived the accident, he sustained severe injuries that forced him to undergo months of medical treatment and recovery.
Nevertheless, despite the tragedy, Rossington’s passion for music persevered, and he eventually resumed his work with Lynyrd Skynyrd in both the recording studio and live performances.
Following the devastating plane crash, Lynyrd Skynyrd went on hiatus for several years, but they eventually regrouped and carried on with touring and recording throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Alongside his work with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington pursued a solo career, putting out several albums such as “Rossington” (1986), “Take It on Faith” (2018), and “Shake It Up” (2019).
These albums allowed Rossington to showcase his exceptional abilities as a guitarist and songwriter and were met with acclaim from followers and critics alike.
In August 1997, Gary made a significant investment when he purchased a sprawling 6,600-square-foot mansion on a vast 7-acre property in the affluent city of Milton, Georgia.
The purchase price of $1.025 million demonstrated Gary’s financial success and allowed him to enjoy the luxuries of a spacious and impressive home.
Lynyrd Skynyrd Guitarist Gary Rossington Passed Away, According To The Band
Gary, the last surviving member of the Southern band Lynyrd Skynyrd, died at 71. The band confirmed the news via their official Facebook page on Sunday evening.
In their statement, Lynyrd Skynyrd paid tribute to Rossington as a brother, friend, family member, songwriter, and guitarist, adding that he is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven. The band requested privacy for Rossington’s family during this difficult time.
No specific cause of death was given, but the guitarist had previously battled several heart problems, including emergency heart surgery during the band’s Big Wheels Keep on Turnin’ Tour in 2021.
Rossington survived a tragic plane crash in 1977 that killed several band members, including lead singer Ronnie Van Zant Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, Steve’s sister, and a road manager.
The incident occurred just three days after the release of the band’s fifth studio album, “Street Survivors.”
Rossington’s contributions to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s music were significant, including some of the band’s most beloved hits, including “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird.” He was introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, along with other band members.
Lynard Skynyrd formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1964 when Rossington, Van Zant, and Bob Burns met while competing on rival baseball teams.
The band eventually added guitarist Allen Collins and bassist Larry Junstrom, and after performing under several names, they settled on Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969.
Rossington’s passing comes just five months before Lynyrd Skynyrd’s scheduled The Sharp Dressed Simple Man Tour alongside ZZ Top, which is set to begin on July 21.