Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd’s last original band member, Gary Rossington, died on Sunday at the age of 71, the band announced. A cause of death was not given.
He was the only member to be involved in every record released by the band.
“Gary is now with his Skynyrd brothers and family in heaven and playing it pretty, like he always does,” the band said in a Facebook post. “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 one of the band’s guitarists until his death, although health issues were keeping him from being with the band full-time.
“Gary will come to shows for guest appearances as he is feeling well and able,” Lynyrd Skynyrd said last week.
The band has continued to tour with a nearly remade band roster.
Founding lead vocalist Ronnie Van Zant died in 1977 in a plane crash. His younger brother Johnny Van Zant would take over as the band’s lead singer.
Fellow guitarist Allen Collins left the band in 1977, 13 years before his 1990 death. Bob Burns was the band’s original drummer. He left the band in 1974. He passed away in 2015.
Larry Junstrom was the band’s founding bassist. He later joined .38 Special before his 2019 death.
The band has dozens of shows scheduled, with its next one Sunday in Plant City, Florida.