The band’s contributions from Rossington helped define their sound and establish their place among the most important bands in the history of rock music. Due to their multiple chart-topping songs, Lynyrd Skynyrd has sold over 28 million CDs worldwide to date. Rossington has had a successful solo career in addition to his work with Lynyrd Skynyrd, demonstrating his skills as a guitarist and composer.
Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines were all killed in an aviation accident in 1977, during the height of the band’s fame. Rossington managed to live, although he fractured his pelvis, both arms, both legs, both ankles, and both wrists. His injuries ultimately caused him to develop a heroin addiction from the painkillers he first required.
The Rossington-Collins Band, which Gary co-founded in 1980, put out two recordings. Later in life, Rossington continued to play with Lynyrd Skynyrd, and finally, he was the only original band member remaining active. As guitarist Edward King passed away in 2018, Gary was left as the sole remaining original band member. As a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rossington was honoured by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.
Why Gary Rossington Passed Away
Gary Rossington, the last surviving founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away at the age of 71, the group said in a statement.
On its official Facebook page, Lynyrd Skynyrd pleaded with fans to remember Rossington’s family in their thoughts during this difficult time.
We must inform you that Gary Rossington, our brother, friend, family member, songwriter, and musician, passed away today, and we do it with the utmost sorrow and regret. Gary is currently in heaven with his Skynyrd brothers and family and acting kind, as he usually does.
The cause of the death of Gary Rossington was not disclosed in the notification. Yet, a number of outlets pointed out that the musician had struggled with health concerns in the years before his passing.
The Guardian reports that Rossington suffered a heart attack in 2015. He underwent urgent heart surgery in 2021. It is yet uncertain if his cardiac problems had a role in his demise.
Nevertheless, he admitted in an interview in 2016 that he never intended to retire and instead chose to go on with the band despite his health issues. If one has anything for themselves as a guitarist, they should keep it up and practise as much as they can.
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Remembering Gary Rossington Following His Death
Musicians, fans, and other musicians paid respect to Rossington after the passing of one of the greats of the rock and roll world and expressed their sorrow at losing the final member of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
After Rossington’s passing, artists including Charlie Daniels, Travis Tritt, Matt Pinfield, and others wrote heartbreaking comments to honour his memory.
Truly saddened today to learn that we lost the great Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd. He was not only an exceptional guitarist and songwriter, but he was one of the coolest, kindest people I have had the pleasure to meet over the years. pic.twitter.com/eBmUjWacqU
— Matt Pinfield (@mattpinfield) March 6, 2023
The final surviving original member was Rossington. His bandmates had just encountered death before his passing.
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Robert Lewis Burns Jr., better known as Bob Burns, passed away in 2015 in Georgia following a single-car collision. While Larry Junstrom went away in 2019 following a protracted struggle with a brain tumour, Allen Collins died in January 1990 from persistent pneumonia.