Singer-songwriter-guitarist David Crosby, a founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash (later Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), has died at the age of 81.
Crosby’s wife Jan released a statement to Variety, saying…
“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. Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.”
With bandmates Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke, Crosby set down the template for ’60s L.A. folk-rock in The Byrds during his stormy 1964-67 tenure in the group.
Later joining Stephen Stills of the Buffalo Springfield fame and Graham Nash of the Hollies amid L.A.’s late-’60s Laurel Canyon scene, Crosby launched CS&N, whose multi-platinum 1968 debut inaugurated rock’s super group era.
Sometimes overlooked for the enormous songwriting contributions to CS&N, as well as for his solo work Crosby brought his rich backing vocals and sense of soft melody to what would become the biggest rock band of the Laurel Canyon era.
The trio later added Stills’ former Buffalo Springfield colleague Neil Young, creating CSN&Y. However, a non-stop clash of egos within Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, fueled by the rock excesses (read: drugs and more drugs) of the era, toppled the supergroup during the ’70s.
His vocals and melodic sensibility dominated CS&Y’s “Wooden Ships” and Guinevere as they did “Everyone’s Benn Burned by The Byrds.
David Crosby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a member of the Byrds in 1991 and with Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997.
He returned to a more public life in 2018 with a theatrical documentary, “David Crosby: Remember My Name,” narrated and produced by Cameron Crowe. And in it Crosby hauntingly alluded about his own mortality …”I’m 80 years old so I’m gonna die fairly soon. That’s how that works.”
(David Crosby 1941-2023)