David Crosby, a founding member of The Byrds and an influential musician for over five decades, died at age 81, his wife Jan Dance (R) confirmed in a statement Thursday. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 19 (UPI) -- David Crosby, a founding member of The Byrds and an influential musician for over five decades, has died at age 81, his family and representatives confirmed Thursday.
"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," Crosby's wife, Jan Dance, said in a statement to Variety.
"Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us," read the statement. "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."
Dance did not specify what the illness was, but Crosby has battled various health issues over the years, as well as a public battle with addiction. He received a liver transplant in 1995.
"I have no idea how I'm alive and Jimi [Hendrix] isn't and Janis [Joplin] isn't and all my other friends," he said in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2014.
"I have no idea why me, but I got lucky."
David Van Cortlandt Crosby was born Aug. 14, 1941, in Los Angeles, Calif. After growing up in California and briefing studying drama, he focused on music, later becoming part of a select group of two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.
He was first recognized for his work with The Byrds in the 1960s. The group scored its first No. 1 hit with a cover Bob Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man.
His second induction into the hall of fame was as part of the group Crosby, Stills & Nash with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash. The group later expanded to include Neil Young, with whom Crosby feuded over the years. The band would break up and reunite multiple times over the decades afterward.
With Young, the group released its first album as a quartet in 1970. Déjà Vu would go on to sell seven million copies, producing the iconic singles "Woodstock," "Teach Your Children" and "Our House."
The singer, songwriter and guitarist was a founding member of both groups. In 1971, he released his first solo album, If I Could Only Remember My Name.
In 2019, the Cameron Crowe documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name was released, giving an unfiltered look at the musician's life.
Crosby is survived by his wife, Dance, as well as sons James Raymond and Django Crosby, as well as daughters Donovan Crosby and Erika Keller Crosby.
Crosby was also the sperm donor for two children conceived by singer Melissa Etheridge and her former partner Julia Cypher. The youngest, Beckett Cypher, died in 2020.
New York Knicks legend
Willis Reed (C) reacts when he is introduced with the rest of the Knicks 1973 championship team in New York City in 2013. Reed, who was nicknamed "The Captain" and was in the Basketball Hall-of-Fame, died at the age of 80 on March 21. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo