BREAKING: Gary Rossington, The Final Remaining Original Member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Suddenly Dies At 71

Gary Rossington was also a member of the Rossington Collins Band.

By

Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on March 5, 2023

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Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington; Photo Courtesy of Fathom Events

Gary Rossington, the final original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, had died. He was 71 years old. 

The iconic Southern rock band announced the news of his passing on Sunday evening (March 5).

“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,” the group’s official Facebook page shared. 

The band went on to share sympathy for Rossington’s loved ones.

“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.”

It is with our deepest sympathy and sadness that we have to advise, that we lost our brother, friend, family member,…

Posted by Lynyrd Skynyrd on Sunday, March 5, 2023

Gary Rossington was the last original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd. He formed the group alongside Ronnie Van Zant, Bob Burns, Allen Collins, and Larry Junstrom in 1964. The band was originally called My Backyard but later changed its named to Lynyrd Skynyrd in the early 1970s.

The Florida native, born December 4, 1951, was one of six band members who survived a 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, and three other people.

Photo Courtesy Lynyrd Skynyrd
Photo Courtesy Lynyrd Skynyrd

Rossington sustained extensive injuries, including a broken pelvis as well as two broken arms, legs, wrists, and ankles. Despite the traumatic injuries, he recovered and returned to the stage. He did, however, have a steel rod in one of his arms and one leg.

His cause of death has yet to be revealed. However, the guitarist has had a long history of heart issues.

The “Simple Man” songwriter previously suffered a heart attack in 2015. In 2016, Rossington underwent emergency heart surgery before having his heart valve repaired in 2019.

“I’ve had heart attacks on stage a lot,” Rossington told The Tampa Bay Times in 2018. He also revealed that Doctors have been suggesting that he quit working for nearly two decades.

He has also undergone several other heart surgeries in recent years that often caused him to take several hiatuses from the band.

Rossington returned to the stage in October of 2021, just four months after undergoing emergency heart surgery.

“It was a wonderful surprise to have Gary back on the stage in Atlanta,” it said. “Keep feeling better, bossman!”

Lynyrd Skynyrd; Photo Provided
Lynyrd Skynyrd; Photo Provided

Gary Rossington was also a member of the Rossington Collins Band, which was formed in 1979 following the plane crash. 

Lynyrd Skynyrd signed with Sounds of the South Records in 1972. The band’s self-titled album was released the following year. The self-titled debut included the song “Free Bird,” which is one of the most-recognized singles in the Southern rock genre. 

The band is also known for hits such as “Simple Man,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Tuesday’s Gone” and “What’s Your Name.” 

Lynyrd Skynyrd released more than 60 albums and sold over 30 million units. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. 

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Written by

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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