Folk-rock legend and co-founding member of the Byrds and Crosby Stills & Nash, David Crosby has died at age 81. One of the major architects of the 70s singer-songwriter era, Crosby’s family announced his passing on Thursday.
The Crosby family said in a statement, “ It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away. He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music.”
Crosby was renowned for his vocal harmonies and songwriting. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Byrds in 1991 and again with Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997.
In 1963, he formed the rock group the Byrds with Roger Mcguinn and Gene Clark. The band was nominated for a Grammy in 1965. The Byrds released the hit “Turn! Turn! Turn!” among others. Ads part of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Crosby won a Grammy in 1970. CSN’s hits included “Marrakesh Express, “Suite Judy Blue Eyes” and many more.
Neil Young joined the band in 1970 and the band became known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and spawned a number of hits and hit albums.
Crosby collaborated with many other noted musicians throughout his life including Phil Lesh of the grateful Dead, Carol King, Joni Mitchell and Jerry Garcia.
Having struggled with addiction, Crosby spent five months in jail because of weapons and narcotics charges. In 1994, he received a liver transplant and went through multiple heart procedures.
In December 15, 2022, David Crosby tweeted, “So I played with some friends the day before yesterday and spent today sing with two really good friends and …hmmmmm…dare I say it? I think I’m starting yet another band and going back out to play live….”
From Stephen Stills: “I read a quote in this morning’s paper attributed to composer Gustav Mahler that stopped me for a moment: ‘Death has, on placid cat’s paws, entered the room.’ I shoulda known something was up.
David and I butted heads a lot over time, but they were mostly glancing blows, yet still left us numb skulls. I was happy to be at peace with him.
He was without question a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius. The glue that held us together as our vocals soared, like Icarus, towards the sun. I am deeply saddened at his passing and shall miss him beyond measure.”
Neil Young posted on his website “David is gone, but his music lives on. The soul of CSNY, David’s voice and energy were at the heart of our band. His great songs stood for what we believed in and it was always fun and exciting when we got to play together. ‘Almost Cut My Hair,’ ‘Deja Vu’ and so many other great songs he wrote were wonderful to jam on and Stills and I had a blast as he kept us going on and on. His singing with Graham was so memorable, their duo spot a highlight of so many of our shows. We had so many great times, especially in the early years. Crosby was a very supportive friend in my early life, as we bit off big pieces of our experience together. David was the catalyst of many things. My heart goes out to Jan and Django, his wife and son. Lots of love to you. Thanks David for your spirit and songs, Love you man. I remember the best times!”
Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson tweeted “I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David’s family and friends. Love, Brian”.