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Guitarist Dickey Betts, co-founder of Allman Brothers Band, dead at 80

Allman Brothers Band co-founder Dickey Betts has died at 80. His family announced his passing Thursday in statement on his Instagram account. He's shown here backstage at the 47th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 13, 2005. File Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/UPI
1 of 2 | Allman Brothers Band co-founder Dickey Betts has died at 80. His family announced his passing Thursday in statement on his Instagram account. He's shown here backstage at the 47th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 13, 2005. File Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/UPI | License Photo

April 18 (UPI) -- Allman Brothers singer, songwriter and guitarist Dickey Betts has died. He was 80.

The announcement was made on Betts' Instagram page.

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"It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that the Betts family announce the peaceful passing of Forrest Richard 'Dickey' Betts (December 12, 1943 - April 18, 2024) at the age of 80 years old," reads a statement posted on Betts' official Instagram page. "The legendary performer, songwriter, bandleader and family patriarch passed away earlier today at his home in Osprey, Fla., surrounded by his family."

The family said his loss will be felt worldwide.

Betts was a co-founder of the Allman Brothers Band along with the late brothers Duane and Gregg Allman. It broke rock music ground as an influential Southern-based rock band beginning in 1969.

The band had a unique twin guitar sound and Southern style that blended blues, rock and country. Like some San Francisco bands in the 1960s, the Allman Brothers live could jam with the best rock had to offer.

Their big commercial breakthrough was the live double album "Filmore East."

Gregg Allman, known for his raspy voice and guitar proficiency, feuded with Betts over the years over control of the band. Allman died at 69 in 2017.

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His brother Duane was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971. Just a year after that, the band lost Berry Oakley in a similar accident.

Betts was fired from the band in 2000.

While he was in the Allman Brothers Band, as well as afterward, Betts was able to sustain a solo career and played with the group Great Southern.

Betts retired for awhile in 2014 but resumed performances in 2017. He canceled several concerts in 2018 after reportedly suffering a mild stroke.

Rock journalist and filmmaker Cameron Crowe said of Betts, "Dickey seemed like a quiet guy with a huge amount of soul, possible danger and playful recklessness behind his eyes. He was a huge presence."

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